CORPUS CHRISTI / HOUSTON: The National Hurricane Center reports that the eye of Hurricane Harvey, now upgraded to a Category 4 storm, has moved onshore to the middle of the Texas coast.
Reports of extensive damage are already pouring in.
An estimated 23 trillion gallons of rainfall expected in the storm hit area.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 26, 2017
According to the NHC website, the eye of Hurricane Harvey hit between Port Aranas and Port O’Connor, Texas. It warns the “catastrophic flooding” is expected.
With sustained winds of 130 mph, the storm surge, coupled with tremendous rainfall, threatens to cause significant flooding along much of the state’s coastline, forecasters say, reports NPR.
Hurricane Harvey threatens US with most powerful storm in 12 years read more
Harvey is the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. in a dozen years, as it makes landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
There are reports of extensive damage in Corpus Christi. The Washington Post reports “numerous structure destroyed” and “buildings collapsed with people inside.” But these reports are only preliminary and fuller damage assessments won’t be made until daylight.
— Garrett Lewis (@5NEWSGarrett) August 26, 2017
Earlier in the day Texas Gov Greg Abbott told residents in the areas between Corpus Christi and Houston to “strongly consider evacuating,” according to member station KUT. “Put your life first and your property second.”
Abbott said Hurricane Harvey was going to prove “more dangerous than many hurricanes.”
Abbott declared a pre-emptive state of emergency in 30 counties encompassing the entire coast in an effort to speed up deployment of resources to the affected areas.
He appeared to avoid criticizing local officials who haven’t yet issued mandatory evacuation orders. For example, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted, “please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse.”
Highways leading from coastal areas were jammed as authorities issued urgent warnings to hundreds of thousands of residents to flee. Some highways were to be turned into one-way roads to speed the exodus from the storm zone.
There were also reports of massive power outages as the storm approached Texas’ coast.
Musafir Namah Bureau