Hurricane Harvey Makes Landfall in Texas
Hurricane Harvey has made landfall in Texas after gaining strength and being reclassified as a Category 4 storm shortly before it hit the US’ southern coast.
According to the National Hurricane Center the storm made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor in Texas at 10pm local time.
The storm could be the worst to hit the US for 12 years and according to the National Weather Service is believed to have the potential to batter the state with 130-mph winds and 12-foot storm surges.
Immediately after it hit there were warnings of “catastrophic flooding expected due to heavy rainfall and storm surge” and imagery shared by the National Environmental Satellite showed the scale of the storm as it was came ashore.
Thousands of people had been evacuated from their homes as Texas authorities declared a state of disaster ahead of the “life-threatening” tropical storm.
The president also granted Governor Greg Abbott’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration in response to the hurricane which will unlock federal funds and resources to deal with the disaster.
Forecasters have predicted that the storm could last as long as three days with the possibility of rain totals over several days extending into next week exceeding 24 inches.
Concerns over a threat of flooding brought by tropical downpours have already been raised and residents were warned to prepare for the worst as the governor of Texas warned before the storm hit that it would be “a very major disaster”.
At least one researcher has also already predicted there will be heavy damage left in Harvey’s wake that could linger for months or longer.
University of Miami senior hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said: “In terms of economic impact, Harvey will probably be on par with Hurricane Katrina.
“The Houston area and Corpus Christi are going to be a mess for a long time.”