HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE: Category 4 Hurricane Harvey bearing down on the south-central Texas coastline. Max winds of 130 mph, minumum central pressure of 941 mb. #Harvey to become the first Category 3 or stronger hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, more than a decade ago. The last category 4 to strike the United States was Hurricane Charley in 2004. Life-threatening devastation likely in Texas from flash flooding, storm surge, and wind damage. 6-15 feet of storm surge possible in Texas north of Corpus Christi. The system was only a tropical depression 48 hours ago.
The pivotal question? Where will Harvey trek after it makes landfall in Texas. Reliable forecast models suggest Harvey will likely stall over Texas for 24-36 hours, potentially 48+ hours! That will lead to catastrophic flooding & significant potential for property damage wherever the heaviest rain sets up. Up to TWO-THREE FEET of rain is forecast for Texas.
After that time, there is concern per the latest forecast models for potentially significant impacts from Harvey across Acadiana & Southwest Louisiana Sunday-Thursday. If you haven’t already, make sure you’re making preparations today and Saturday. The National Hurricane Center’s latest track brings Harvey towards the east over southeastern Texas by Sunday-Tuesday. Acadiana & southwest Louisiana would be on the eastern side(wet & nasty side) of the system. 7-14+ inches of rain possible with localized 16+ inches. In addition, if the system remains gets back over water, the system could regain tropical storm strength. So, we would have the potential for tropical storm force winds, 2-5 feet of coastal flooding, and isolated tornadoes. IF the forecast track verifies. There is a LOT of uncertainty in the exact strength & path that Harvey could be by then.
Endless scenarios are still on the table for our exact impacts, but the bottom line is we need to be prepared for a potentially significant event. The exact magnitude of potential impacts will evolve as we move forward in time and and learn more on Hurricane Harvey’s future path after landfall in Texas. The bottom line is we need to be make precautionary preparations now for the potential for a long-duration heavy rain & potential flood event from Sunday-Thursday.
Remember, “be prepared, not scared!” Clear out storm drains, secure loose objects that could potentially clog storm drains, & prepare to fill-up sand bags if you live in a flood prone location. Also, go to the store and stock up on essentials. Batteries, flashlights, water, and non-perishable food is also a good move to make. Stay tuned for more further updates.