Hurricane Harvey settled over southeast Texas early Saturday (August 26, 2017), lashing the state’s Gulf Coast with damaging winds and dumping torrents of rain over hundreds of miles of coastline that braced for what forecasters predicted would be life-threatening storm surges basically walls of water moving inland.
Harvey made landfall shortly after 11 p.m. Friday, just north of Port Aransas as a monstrous Category 4 storm, the National Weather Service said. Forecasts call for as much as 30 inches of rain to fall by next Wednesday, with some areas getting as much as 40 inches, according to the hurricane center. Meanwhile, the storm surge could bring flooding of 6 to 12 feet to a coastal area that includes Matagorda Island and Port O’Connor.
As Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center warned Texans to prepare for “life-threatening flash flooding” in coming days that could be “catastrophic.”
More than 211,000 homes and businesses were without power early Saturday, leaving locals both in the dark and without air conditioning in the August heat. The National Weather Service warned that some residents may not be able to return to their homes for weeks or months.
“In terms of economic impact, Harvey will probably be on par with Hurricane Katrina,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. “The Houston area and Corpus Christi are going to be a mess for a long time.”