Harvey Weakened to Tropical Storm, One Know Dead
The most powerful storm to hit Texas in 50 years has killed at least 1 person and is now threatening catastrophic flooding.
Search & Rescue teams deployed to the hardest-hit zones, authorities said Saturday.
Harvey hit Texas, the heart of the US Oil & Gas industry, late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour, making it the strongest storm to strike the state since 1961.
The storm has ripped off roofs, snapped power lines, and triggered tornadoes and flash floods, while also curtailing a large portion of America’s oil and fuel production and prompting price hikes at the pumps.
Harvey has weakened to a tropical storm but is expected to lash Texas for days as it moves inland, bringing as much as 40 ins of rain, affecting heavily populated areas like Houston.
Texas utility companies, meanwhile, said nearly 250,000 customers were without power.
One person died in a house fire in the town of Rockport, 30 miles north of the city of Corpus Christi, as Harvey came ashore overnight, Mayor Charles Wax said in a news conference early Saturday, marking the 1st confirmed fatality from the storm.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Saturday said he would activate 1,800 members of the military to help with the statewide cleanup while 1,000 people would conduct search-and-rescue operations.
Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale when it hit the coast, the 2nd-highest category, and the most powerful storm in over a decade to come ashore anywhere in the mainland United States.
Saturday, Harvey weakened to tropical storm from hurricane strength the US National Hurricane Center said. The center of the storm was about 60 miles east-southeast of San Antonio with sustained winds of 65 mph and barely moving, the center said.
Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States has gotten about 16 ins of rain so far, and will receive 2 to 3 more ft in the coming days, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Saturday afternoon.
Other authorities warned of the potentially life-threatening impact of heavy rains between Houston and Corpus Christi over the next several days.
The latest forecast storm track has Harvey looping back toward the Gulf of Mexico coast before turning north again on Tuesday. (http://tmsnrt.rs/2g9jZ0W)
US President Donald Trump signed a disaster proclamation Friday.
The President met with his cabinet and staff Saturday to discuss the federal reaction to the storm.
President Trump said that his expectations that all US departments and agencies stay fully engaged and positioned to support his #1 Priority.