Hurricane Harvey — which has already prompted mandatory evacuations along much of the Texas coastline — is growing more worrisome to the U.S. with each passing hour. The storm, which will likely make landfall in Corpus Christi late Friday night, is projected to strike as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. Over the following several days, the storm will bring a potentially devastating storm surge and widespread, dangerous flooding to Texas and Louisiana. As the above USA Today video reveals, this looks to be the strongest hurricane to strike the mainland since 2005’s Hurricane Wilma.
The Washington Post reports on the “astounding” rate at which Harvey is gaining strength and points toward this as the “first major test” of not only new FEMA Head Brock Long (who was confirmed in June) but also the Trump administration in terms of disaster response. The National Hurricane Center speaks of the “life threatening storm surge” on the way:
“With Harvey now strengthening at a faster rate than indicated in previous advisories, the intensity forecast has become quite concerning. Harvey has intensified quickly this morning, and is now forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast.”
CNN emphasizes that Harvey’s status as a slow-moving storm after landfall could result in 15-25 inches of precipitation (and in some areas, up to 35 inches) throughout the Texas coastline. In addition, the possible combination of “peak storm surge” with high tide could cause anywhere between “1 to 8 feet of flooding” along the U.S. coast. While Texans are currently the subject of evacuation orders, New Orleans residents are also on high alert, especially due to the city’s pumping stations being on the blink. Indeed, from Friday night through Wednesday, the U.S. could see one terribly destructive storm.