Hurricane Harvey hits Texas hard
HURRICANE Harvey settled over south-east Texas early yesterday, lashing the state’s Gulf Coast with damaging winds and dumping torrents of rain over hundreds of miles of coastline.
The state was braced for what forecasters predicted would be life-threatening storm surges – walls of water – moving inland.
The hurricane made landfall the previous night about 30 miles north-east of Corpus Christi as a category four storm with 130 mph winds.
It gradually weakened and the National Hurricane Centre said that by 3am Harvey was back to a category two, still sustaining winds of 110 mph.
Harvey’s approach sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing inland, hoping to escape the menacing storm that threatened a wide swathe of Texas – home to oil refineries, chemical plants and dangerously flood-prone Houston, the US’ fourth-largest city.
Officials noted emergency crews could not get out in many places due to high winds.
Early reports did begin to emerge from Rockport, a coastal city of about 10,000 people that was directly in Harvey’s path.
Officials confirmed that the roof of Rockport’s high school had partially caved in and that the community’s historic central area saw extensive damage.
The roof of a senior housing complex also collapsed.
Harvey came ashore as the fiercest hurricane to hit the US in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961’s Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.
Hurricane Harvey hits Texas