Tropical storm Harvey brings record flooding to Texas


The real risk lies not in the intensity of the storm, but its duration.

Harvey weakened slightly into a tropical storm yesterday and slowed to a halt over land, delivering 65 mph sustained winds and expectations of 15 to 25 inches of rain through Thursday - with as much as 40 inches possible in some areas, forecasters said. Major damage is being reported around Rockport including at the town's airport. "We're seeing levels of rainfall that are unprecedented", said Steve Bowen, chief meteorologist at reinsurance firm Aon Benfield.

With more than 300,000 people losing access to power, the total rainfall in the affected areas is predicted to reach a total of between two to three feet.

According to the GasBuddy, the national average price for a gallon of gas was $2.35 Friday afternoon, which is up 2 cents from last week.

When Valeri Martin got up on Sunday she says she started to check the news to see what was happening.

"These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding, and flash flood emergencies are in effect for portions of southeastern Texas".

- "That's the strongest looking hurricane on satellite I have ever seen". "We were also worried about the kids, especially the baby".

In a separate tweet, Trump said he is monitoring the hurricane closely from Camp David. "We anticipate four to five days of this".

People trapped by rising floodwaters in Texas have been told to stand on their roofs and wait for rescue as emergency services deal with thousands of desperate calls for help.

Across the state, Texans are helping Texans. The last Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. was Hurricane Charley in August 2004 in Florida.

Hurricane Harvey off the coast of Texas on the afternoon of Thu. Aug. 24 2017
Hurricane Harvey off the coast of Texas on the afternoon of Thu. Aug. 24 2017

A mandatory evacuation order, while optional in practice for residents, triggers mandatory closures of businesses and cessation of industrial plant operations.

Toney Wade, a commander for the volunteer group Cajun Coast Search and Rescue, was among those headed to Texas to help with relief efforts.

"We know there is widespread devastation", Rockport Mayor CJ Wax told the Weather Channel.

Folks on the coast might want to think about urging President Trump to take this a little more seriously. "We do it so that we can show you how bad the conditions are so you do not attempt them".

He did admit to feeling some trepidation about the weather ahead. "To me, the Lord will make the way, one way or another".

Asked if this storm could become Houston's Hurricane Katrina, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who had contradicted the mayor's advice and urged people to flee from Harvey's path, ducked the question.

"Abbott in a press release Sunday said he made the request after six counties had already been included in the declaration".

Abbott said 1,800 members of the military would help with the statewide cleanup.

Communications and emergency response efforts remain challenging. He said that a tornado touched down near Lawton, Oklahoma, in 2001 while he was in basic training there but no damage resulted. But she saw on the news to stay in place.

Normally, storms move and dissipate, he said.