Early Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Harvey made its projected new landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border after crushing Port Arthur, Texas, and shutting down a significant chunk of the largest U.S. oil refinery in the process. This will have an effect on nationwide oil prices, but the more pressing concern sources from these stunning photos of a makeshift shelter in the Port Arthur Civic Center, where flooding forced evacuees off their cots and into bleachers. Those evacuees will be relocated, although it’s not certain where that shall be, for the nearest shelter is already full to capacity.
Throughout southeast Texas, the storm’s death toll has officially passed 30, although it’s understood that the number will substantially increase as waters recede and more bodies are recovered. Houston’s numbers dominate on that note, along with the city’s sheer number of homes — an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 — that have been destroyed by the storm.
Although the storm is moving eastward and rain has ceased in Houston, flooding remains a life-threatening issue due to still-rising waters after the city received over 50 inches of rain with rescue and recovery options ongoing until further notice. One particularly harrowing new story involves four still-missing Houston volunteers, who were swept out of their boat. Three members of the group are currently hospitalized after being “burned by electrocution [while] hanging on to trees.”
After moving into southwestern Louisiana (where Harvey is expected to make itself at home for the remainder of the week) — landfall occurred near Cameron — the system will turn into a tropical depression but not before bringing a significant storm surge:
Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to bring winds of 30 to 40 mph and a 2- to 4-foot storm surge along the Louisiana-Texas border. It is threatening to dump an additional 3 to 6 inches from southwestern Louisiana into western Kentucky, the National Hurricane Center said. It’s expected to become a tropical depression by Wednesday night.
Officials warn that some parts of Louisiana could see at least 10 more inches of rain this week, which will land upon already saturated soil. Governor John Bel Edwards has warned of the storm’s “tremendous potential to continue to drop heavy amounts of water” over 72 hours. Although New Orleans isn’t expected to receive a direct hit from Harvey, the city’s ailing pumping systems leave residents feeling apprehensive, especially in light of Tuesday’s 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.