Tropical Storm in USA on August 26 2017 04:03 AM (UTC).
Hurricane Harvey slammed directly into the coastal Texas city of Rockport overnight, knocking down trees and signs, bending utility poles in half like toothpicks, and blowing out the windows of police cars. At least one person died in a house fire during the storm, Aransas County Judge Burt Mills said, and about a dozen others suffered minor injuries like broken legs. In addition, a hotel wall fell in, the high school suffered major damage and business and homes suffered "catastrophic damage," Rockport Mayor Charles Wax said. 'There's been widespread devastation," he said. The storm, which landed as a Category 4 but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, brought high winds and heavy rains to the area. Further flooding over the next few days could add more considerable damage to the reeling city. Officials previously anticipated that the storm could prove fatal for those who did not flee. Ahead of landfall Friday night, Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios delivered some dire advice to residents planning to ride out the storm: write their names and Social Security numbers on their forearms to help first responders should they find a body. That bleak tip underscored the stakes in Rockport late Friday, when Harvey slammed the city, unleashing a torrent of heavy rain and strong winds. Wax told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield late Saturday morning that emergency response teams were venturing out to assess the damage. But the full extent of the destruction is still not known because first responders were themselves hunkered down overnight. "We haven't been able to get out and make any kind of assessment of what we've got," Rockport Fire Chief Steve Sims told CNN early Saturday. Rockport city manager Kevin Carruth told CNN that crews raced to survey the extensive damage during the eye of the hurricane early Saturday. They saw extensive damage downtown in the city, which is home to nearly 10,000 people and sits about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Rockport resident Robert Jackson said riding out the storm was "about the most stressful thing I've ever been through." He said he didn't sleep at all overnight because the wind "sounded like a freight train with square wheels." "This is my last one to ride out, I'll tell you that," he said. About 50 to 60% of residents decided to stay in the city through the storm, officials told CNN. Police received calls of roofs ripped off homes and walls falling on people, officials told CNN, and at least one family was trapped by water. They managed to rescue about 20 people during a short break in the storm, but otherwise were unable to do extensive rescues overnight. Chantal Yendiree and her family evacuated inland to Corpus Christi for the storm. They returned to their home in Rockport to find the roof had been ripped off and the inside largely destroyed. "We lost everything. We need FEMA to help our town," Yendiree said. "The whole town of Rockport is demolished. My home was just one of the many that was destroyed. We need aid. We need quick aid. This is a disaster." Robert Arnold, a reporter for CNN affiliate KPRC, said the station's news truck nearly tipped over from the high-speed winds. Water and rain were blowing sideways, and were being whipped "into a froth," he said. A CNN team reporting from Rockport said that residents asked the crew to use their satellite phones to call loved ones. Rockport Volunteer Department Asst. Chief Roy Laird estimated that winds reached 140 mph on Friday night.
Hurricane Harvey's strong winds and heavy rains damaged property, injured residents and left cruise ships stranded along the Texas coast. Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth told KIII at least 10 people were treated for injuries related to the Hurricane Harvey after the eye of the storm passed through the city Friday night. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds on Friday night and slowly weakened into a Category 1 by Saturday morning. Carruth said the roof of a single-story senior housing development collapsed and several people were taken to a local jail for assessment and treatment. He added that a courthouse was also severely damaged and the historic downtown area was also heavily damaged. Rockport Fire Department Chief Steve Sims told ABC News early Saturday 22 firefighters remained hunkered down at the local fire station. The department had about 25 to 30 pending calls but firefighters were unable to respond until weather conditions improve. "We're unable to get out on the streets yet," Sims said. "As soon as the weather permits us, the winds get anywhere reasonable. We have been working on lists trying to prioritize the calls that we have waiting." Hurricane Harvey also left about 20,000 cruise ship passengers stranded after the Port of Galveston closed about noon Friday. Three Carnival cruises and one Royal Caribbean ship headed for Galveston Island were turned away. "We have about 20,000 people on four cruise ships that are trying to enter the port," Roger Quiroga, director of economic development and external relations for the Port of Galveston told The Daily News. Port officials expect to know more about the ships after a conference call with the cruise companies at 11 a.m. and believe improved weather could permit an earlier return. "Depending on the weather, we may be able to bring some ships in on Sunday," Peter Simons, interim director for the Port of Galveston, said. The Coast Guard also responded to vessels in distress near the Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas A water boil notice for residents in Ingleside in San Patrico County was issued on at about 8:16 a.m urging residents to boil water for at least 2 minutes before using it to brush teeth, drink or cook with. Heavy winds caused property damage throughout the state, blowing down walls, roofs and other structures such as traffic lights. Reports of downed trees and power lines were also made in Rockport and Corpus Christi as more than 300,000 of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas were left without power along the Gulf Coast. President Donald Trump tweeted commending local officials for their work handling the hurricane while he was at Camp David on Saturday morning. "Closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey from Camp David," he wrote. "We are leaving nothing to chance. City, State and Federal Govs. working great together!"
Hurricane Harvey made initial landfall on the Texas coast over the northern end of San Jose Island about 4 miles east of Rockport on Friday, Aug. 25 around 10 p.m. as a category 4 hurricane. Within hours Harvey made another landfall along the northeastern shore of Copano Bay, Texas. Missouri City had several tornado warnings and flash flood warnings after landfall; no major damages. Harvey is expected to slow down further during the next day or so, and it will wander over southeastern Texas through the middle of next week. The Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for Fort Bend County and the National Weather Service also has a Flash Flood Watch in effect through Tuesday, Aug. 29. After evaluating the conditions, Mayor Allen Owen proclaimed a "state of disaster" in the City on Friday. Missouri City Emergency Operations Center has been active since 7 p.m., Friday monitoring the storm and providing regular updates to citizens through various citizen communications tools. Due to the continuous rain, the Brazos River gauge in Richmond could reach record levels and exceed 54 feet; major flooding along the Brazos River is anticipated for Monday afternoon.
Hurricane Harvey settled over southeast Texas early Saturday, 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. The fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade made landfall the previous night about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. It gradually weakened over the next several hours and the National Hurricane Center said that by 3 a.m. Harvey was back to a Category 2 - still sustaining winds of 110 mph. Harvey's approach sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing inland, hoping to escape the wrath of a menacing storm that threatens not only the coast but a wide swath of Texas that is home to oil refineries, chemical plants and dangerously flood-prone Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city. No deaths were immediately confirmed in the hours after Harvey's arrival, but officials noted emergency crews couldn't get out in many places due to high winds. Melissa Munguia, deputy emergency management coordinator in Nueces County, which includes Corpus Christi, said early Saturday that it could be hours before crews could fully assess the damage in coastal communities. Early reports did begin to emerge from Rockport, a coastal city of about 10,000 people that was directly in Harvey's path when it came ashore. Officials confirmed that the roof of Rockport's high school had partially caved in and that the community's historic downtown saw extensive damage. Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth told local media outlets that multiple people had been taken to the county's jail for assessment and treatment after the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed. KIII-TV reported that 10 people were treated there. Earlier Friday, Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios had offered ominous advice, telling the station that those who chose to stay put rather than evacuate the area "should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen," implying doing so would make it easier for rescuers to identify them. In Corpus Christi, the major city closest to the storm's center, wind whipped palm trees and stinging sheets of horizontal rain slapped against hotels and office buildings along the city's seawall as the storm made landfall. Boats bobbed violently in the marina. It was too dark to tell whether any boats had broken their moorings. Harvey left more than 211,000 Texans without power early Saturday, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's largest electric company. Fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, Harvey grew rapidly, accelerating from a Category 1 early Friday morning to a Category 4 by evening. Its transformation from an unnamed storm to a life-threatening behemoth took only 56 hours, an incredibly fast intensification. Harvey came ashore as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record. Based on the atmospheric pressure, Harvey ties for the 18th strongest hurricane on landfall in the U.S. since 1851 and ninth strongest in Texas.
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast on Friday as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 130 miles (209 km) per hour, the most powerful storm in over a decade to hit the mainland United States. The hurricane made landfall northeast of Corpus Christi around 10 p.m. CDT (0300 GMT), bringing with it a sea surge of up to 13 feet and over 3 feet (90 cm) of rain as it lingers along the Texas coast and parts of Louisiana for days. It was the first Category 4 hurricane to wallop the United States since Charley in 2004 and the first to hit Texas since Carla in 1961. The storm was currently about 30 miles (45 km) from Corpus Christi, a city of 320,000, and knocked out power to some homes in that city and nearby towns. While thousands fled the expected devastating flooding and destruction, many residents defied mandatory evacuation orders and stocked up on food, fuel and sandbags. "We're suggesting if people are going to stay here, mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number," Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios told reporters Friday, according to media reports. "We hate to talk about things like that. It's not something we like to do but it's the reality. People don't listen." As many as 5.8 million people were believed to be in the storm's path, as well as the heart of America's oil refining operations. The storm's impact on refineries has already pushed up gasoline prices. As a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, Harvey could uproot trees, destroy homes and disrupt utilities for days. It is the first major hurricane, of Category 3 or more, to hit the mainland United States since Hurricane Wilma struck Florida in 2005. Donald Trump, facing the first large-scale natural disaster of his presidency, said on Twitter he signed a disaster proclamation which "unleashes the full force of government help" shortly before Harvey made landfall. In Corpus Christi, where there was voluntary evacuation, strengthening winds buffeted the few trucks and cars that continued to circulate on the streets. The storm toppled wooden roadwork signs and littered the streets with pieces of palm trees as white caps rocked sailboats in their docks. About 85 miles (137 km) north in Victoria, Mayor Paul Polasek told CNN he estimated that 60 percent to 65 percent of the town's 65,000 residents defied the mandatory evacuation order. Jose Rengel, a 47-year-old who works in construction, said he was one of the few people in Jamaica Beach in Galveston that did not heed a voluntary evacuation order. "All the shops are empty," he said as the sky turned black and rain fell. "It's like a tornado went in and swept everything up." With the hurricane bearing down on the Texas coast, at least three cruise ships operated by Carnival Corp with thousands of passengers aboard were forced to change their plans to sail for the Port of Galveston. Two of them headed New Orleans to pick up fresh supplies, while the third delayed its departure from Cozumel, Mexico. The NHC's latest tracking model shows the storm sitting southwest of Houston for more than a day, giving the nation's fourth most populous city a double dose of rain and wind. "Life-threatening and devastating flooding expected near the coast due to heavy rainfall and storm surge," the NHC said. Louisiana and Texas declared states of disaster, authorizing the use of state resources to prepare. The city of Houston warned residents of flooding from close to 20 inches (60 cm) of rain over several days. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner advised city residents not to leave en masse, saying "no evacuation orders have been issued for the city." Chaotic traffic from a rushed evacuation in 2005 with Hurricane Rita proved tragic. "Calm and care!" he said in a tweet.
The South Texas Project nuclear power plant in Wadsworth has plans in place as Hurricane Harvey creeps towards the Texas Gulf Coast. Up to 250 employees will endure Hurricane Harvey from inside the plant. At press time, both units at the nuclear power facility continue to operate at full power as Hurricane Harvey approaches. STP's Corporate Communications and External Affairs manager Buddy Eller anticipates as many as members of a pre-planned storm crew to hunker down inside the plant and closely monitor it for any damage. "For the past several days, before Harvey even became a tropical storm, crews have been walking the site to either remove or tie down any loose material that could become airborne and cause damage," Eller said. "The team has a very thorough checklist to go through meticulously to prepare for a possible weather impact." Eller said the storm crew is first allowed to go home and take care of what they need to there and ensure their families are taken care of first before returning to the plant well in advance of landfall. "They don't need to be driving through horrible weather and putting themselves at risk," he said. "The safety of our employees is our number one priority. In the event the storm's winds breach the 73 mile-per-hour barrier, Eller says their internal procedures dictate that the safety team, consisting of essential personnel only, would shut down both reactors completely. "The only reason we'd consider powering them back up, even partially, would be if asked to do so by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," Eller said. "With any hurricane, there are likely to be power transmission issues in getting it where it needs to go, so before we turned anything back on." The plant site is located 10 miles inland and at an elevation of 29 feet, well above the reach of even a Category 5 storm surge. The plant was designed with watertight buildings and doors to keep emergency electric power and cooling systems fully functional. All buildings housing safety equipment are flood-proof to an elevation of at least 41 feet above mean sea level. Alfred Sanchez, STP's resident inspector from the NRC, has two additional inspectors being sent in from the Region 4 office in Arlington who entered the plant Thursday evening prepared to stay and monitor all actions and plan conditions throughout the weekend if necessary. Sanchez and another inspector are on standby prepared to come in and relieve inspectors as necessary, assuming they can make it to the site safely. "Our role changes during major weather events that could affect the site and in emergency situations involving the site from inspection to one of cooperation to ensure reactor and personnel safety," Sanchez said.