>>> holiday millions of americans are coping with weather-related disaster. in the southeast it's floodwaters brought on by the pounding rain of tropical storm lee this weekend. that same storm system didn't drop any rain where they so badly need it, in texas. but winds from lee helped whip up wildfires in that bone-dry state. in the last 24 hours fire crews have been called to at least 63 new fires across texas. fires that have torched more than 30,000 acres. nbc's jay gray is just outside austin tonight, jay.

>> reporter:  hey there, kate. you're absolutely right. fire teams still working dozens of wildfires across texas right now. one of the worst is here in bastra outside of austin. you can see the ominous bluplume of smoke behind me, evidence this blaze is still burning out of control. the sfwens flaintense flames are relentless. a blaze pushed by the residual effects of tropical storm lee, winds gusts to 40 miles per hour, an amber glow swallowing everything in its path. wildfires cutting a twisted path across texas, challenging strike teams who are now getting help from the air along the front lines, but at this point they're still no match for the flames.

>> this fire is not over. it's not contained at this time. it's probably going to get better -- it's going to get worse before it gets better.

>> reporter:  it's hard to believe things could get much worse. just outside of austin, more than 450 homes have been reduced to ash. over 17,000 acres charred. numbers that are growing.

>> oh, my god.

>> reporter:  5,000 families have been forced from their homes.

>> total devastation.

>> reporter:  hundreds are stays in area shelters. that's where monica turner was when she got the call.

>> we just found out that our house has been destroyed.

>> reporter:  as a wall of smoke continues to fill the horizon, monica struggles to find out what will happen when the smoke clears.

>> i don't know roit now.

>> reporter:  as the fires continue the violent march across the state, crews have been stem celled past their limits.

>> this has been a very, very difficult fire and a very, very difficult time for our firefighters.

>> reporter:  and more difficult for thousands who must somehow try to piece together the charred debris and ash, all that's left of their lives. again, a live look at that plume of smoke that stretches for miles here. the recovery will have to wait. strike teams continue to work around the clock, but kate, they say it will be days before they begin to have a handle on this blaze.

>> jay gray in texas tonight. thank you.