ALERT – PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Hurricane Harvey, which will strike the US within the next 24 hours, is reportedly one of the worst that we’ve seen in over a decade. It will be the first hurricane to even strike Texas since 2008, and will leave a complete path of devastation in its wake.
The National Hurricane Center issued a statement just hours ago, warning that this may be one of the most destructive hurricanes we’ve seen in years. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has already declared a state of emergency for 30 counties in anticipation of the damage that Hurricane Harvey will do.
While the Hurricane is only expected to be Category 1, that’s not what officials are worried about. While the winds will not be as strong as Katrina, the storm is expected to last far longer than many before it—meaning that flash flooding is a major concern.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a warning about the rain accumulation that will take place throughout areas of Texas:
RAINFALL: Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches over the Texas coast through next Wednesday.
During the same time period Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 9 inches along its outer radius including parts of south, central, and eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley.
Rainfall from Harvey may cause life-threatening flooding.
Although the hurricane is expected to be Category 1, many forecasters have urged the public that it could be even worse—so far, some are saying that it could evolve into a Category 2 hurricane, and maybe even worse.
Category 1 Hurricane
Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
No real damage to buildings. Damage to unanchored mobile homes. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage. Examples: Irene 1999 and Allison 1995
Category 2 Hurricane
Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
Some damage to building roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to mobile homes. Flooding damages piers and small craft in unprotected moorings may break their moorings. Some trees blown down. Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges(FL & LA) 1998 and Gloria 1985
Category 3 Hurricane
Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly built signs destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland. Examples: Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965
Category 4 Hurricane
Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland. Examples: Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960
Category 5 Hurricane
Winds 156 mph and up (135+ kt)
Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all structures near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required. Examples: Andrew(FL) 1992, Camille 1969 and Labor Day 1935.
If you live near the Texas, Louisiana, or northeast Mexico coasts, it is advised that you evacuate immediately. However, be sure to check your local weather station for more in depth details, before doing so.
Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has said that Hurricane Harvey “could intensify right up to a landfall on Friday.” He also added that he could not rule out the possibility of a Category 2 hurricane.
Harvey is expected to bring multiple hazards including heavy rainfall, storm surge and possible hurricane conditions to parts of the Texas coast on Friday.
Heavy rainfall is expected to spread across portions of south, central and eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley from Friday through early next week and could cause life-threatening flooding, according to the advisory.
Crude oil may also be impacted by this storm, so whether you’re in the physically effected areas of not, you will be impacted economically. According to Andy Lipow, President of a major oil company in Texas, there will be a “significant reduction of crude oil imports, resulting in refineries cutting crude rates.”
Companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have already announced that they will be cutting production and evacuating workers in anticipation of the storm, although it is unclear how much damage will be done in the long run.
Bottom line: if you live in any of the areas that will be affected by this Hurricane, it is seriously advised that you evacuate your hometown immediately. This could be a matter of life and death, and once the flooding starts, there will be no escape.