Hurricane Harvey victims displaced by the devastating floods in Houston expressed outrage and accused local businesses of capitalising on the disaster after they hiked their prices during the storm.

Stores across the Texan capital have been accused of "price gouging" after they were caught selling basic items, such as bottled water, milk and petrol at exorbitant prices.

Residents forced to leave their homes as the storm raged around Houston were horrified when they were charged steep prices at convenience stores and petrol stations.

Gladys Flores shared a video of her arguing with a shopkeeper after she tried to charge her $8 (£6.22) for a gallon of milk at a Pak N Go Food Mart.

In a Facebook post which has been shared almost 10,000 times, Flores wrote: "I get to the register and ask her for the price. She smiles and thinks about it, then tells me $8. I looked at her and was in shock. I can't believe that even when people see the situation we are in where we should be working together to help each other and then this happens."

Leading electronics chain Best Buy was caught selling cases of bottled water for over $42 (£32). Customers reacted angrily when they were charged $42.96 (£33.31) for 24-packs of Dasani water and $29.98 (£23.24) for 12 packs. A sign on top of the cases read: "Limited supply!!"

A spokesperson for the company said that Best Buy did not usually sell water and that the "mistake" happened when "the store's employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case."

The company said this was not an excuse but an explanation of error.

Kayleigh Lovvorn, a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's office, said: "Unfortunately, price gouging like this can be common following natural disasters."

She added that the office had received around 550 complaints through an emergency address set up for customers, many of which concerned the significant price hikes since the hurricane hit.

"We have received complaints from consumers as well as some of our employees and investigators in the area concerning price gouging happening with hotels, grocers, fuel providers and (most frequently) fresh water," she said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC that any companies caught price gouging faced significant penalties. The businesses can be fined up to $20,000 (£15,400) or $250,000 (£193,400) if the victim is aged over 65, Paxton said.

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