Hurricane Harvey Nears Texas Gulf Coast Bringing Category 4 Storm In Hours

NASA Satellite image of tropical storm formation

by Richard Cameron


Hurricane Harvey Headed Inland

HOUSTON, TX

Over two million residents of 7 counties on the Gulf Coast of Texas are bracing for what the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and the governor of the state, Governor Greg Abbott, is predicting to be a Category 3 storm heading toward land within the next 12 hours –  by some estimates as soon as 8PM Central, Friday evening.  

(Editor’s Note: National Compass – at 6:15 Central, has just been informed that Harvey is now been updated to Category 4)

heat mapped image of the eye of tropical storm Harvey as it moves towards landfall on the Texas Gulf

Abbott told reporters at a press conference today that he has been informed that the storm, dubbed ‘Hurricane Harvey’ conceivably could be “more dangerous” than some previous to hit the state, with the potential for flooding across a wide area.  

If the storm persists for a week or more, the wider the expected destruction and possibly up to 3 feet of water. Tidal areas already are surging in advance of Harvey.

Abbott send a request to President Trump asking for a federal disaster declaration before the fact, in order to stage rescue and recovery assistance from FEMA.

FEMA Director Brock Long,  a former director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, is overseeing the setting up of an incident support base at Randolph Air Force Base Auxiliary Airport near Seguin, Texas – but the Coast Guard will also be involved in the response effort.  

At Randolph AFB – 125 miles inland, workers were preparing emergency supplies for distribution – blankets, tarps, 77,000 liters of water and a quarter of a million meals for displaced residents.

The Gulf of Mexico is well known throughout modern history, to be an incubator of hurricanes that threaten the entire coast from Florida to Mexico, in years when the temperatures, both in the ocean and in the atmosphere are in record high territories. Climate.gov., in a recent study, outlined a direct correlation of higher water temperatures and severe storm events during summer.

Weather.com’s Jonathan Belles reports that ”the vast majority of hurricanes that contain winds of more than 111 mph occur after Aug. 1 when water temperatures are their warmest and atmospheric conditions are generally the most favorable. “

NOAA satellite photos of the path of Tropical storm Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is being measured by meteorologists at 110 miles per hour, less than 80 miles offshore and moving towards land at approximately 10 miles per hour.

Despite the past history of devastation such as that from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, which resulted in the loss of 22 lives, there is mixed messaging coming from state and local elected officials.

Gov. Abbott is telling residents of southeast Texas:

“I would urge people to strongly consider the evacuation process. There is a possibility, the probability, that a lot of people will go for a long time without the basic necessities.”

The Mayor of Houston, America’s fourth largest city, on the other hand, is hedging. Mayor Sylvester Turner, tweeted a different advisory, saying to residents, “Please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse. No evacuation orders have been issued for the city.”

As Harvey is expected by the National Weather Service to hit land in the vicinity of Corpus Christi – mayors, such as Mayor Joe McComb of Corpus Christi and other public officials are – depending on the degree of vulnerability of a location, either mandating evacuations or strongly urging residents to do so.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-!A), warns President Trump to study up on the lessons of past storms mishandled, such as Katrina:

 

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