Houston Texas: Hurricane Harvey on track to become a “landmark” national disaster for the United States

Posted: August 28, 2017 in Disasters of our World, Historic Event, Weather
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Captain Rick: Harvey made landfall on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and stalled out as a tropical storm over the coastal areas of Texas, just southwest of Houston.
It unleashed dangerously high winds and dumped catastrophic amounts of rain with a total of up to 50″ projected before it moves out of Texas on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Harvey sent massive floods through the Houston area Sunday, chasing thousands to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelming rescuers. FEMA estimates 30,000 will seek safe haven in shelters.
Federal disaster declarations indicate the storm has so far affected about 6.8 million people.
About 50 Texas counties and parts of Louisiana will face serious repercussions from the “landmark event.”

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A look at Harvey by the numbers so far:

Track _____
Harvey, now spinning near Port O’Connor, Texas, was forecast to move back into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
As it spins offshore, the storm is expected to dump an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain through Friday over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana, exacerbating the life-threatening, catastrophic flooding in the Houston area.
It will meander over the Gulf for a couple of day, accumulating more moisture, before making a second landfall somewhere near the Texas/Louisiana border, likely on Wednesday, dumping record amounts of rain on the region during the almost week long catastrophic visit.

Rainfall _____
This month has officially been deemed the wettest on record for Houston, Texas. On Sunday, Houston established a new daily rainfall record with just over 16 inches. That’s twice the rainfall that Phoenix Arizona receives in a year.
Between Friday and Sunday, some areas along the Texas gulf coast received as much as 30 inches of rain. But the dangers are not over just yet. Weather services warn that before the storm clears out, some areas could cumulatively receive as many as 50 inches of rain. Continuing rainfall will worsen already grave flooding conditions.

Fatalities _____
At least 5 people have died as a result of Harvey. Rescue efforts are still ongoing and that number could increase over the coming days.

Rescue efforts _____
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said officers had rescued more than 2,000 people trapped by the overwhelming waters; another 185 rescue requests were still pending. The city also has grappled with 75,000 911 calls, and the system has backed up but never went down.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday activated the entire state National Guard, raising to 12,000 the number of guardsmen deployed to assist the search and rescue effort.
The Coast Guard, which said it already had conducted 300 air and 1,200 boat rescues, had 20 helicopters and more than 20 boat teams in the Houston area.
Rising water levels have made rescue efforts challenging. As many as 346 roads are closed due to high water.
More than 5,500 weary refugees of Tropical Storm Harvey’s fury sought refuge in the city’s George R. Brown Convention Center. More than a dozen smaller shelters have been opened across Harris County.
Local, state and federal officials warned that the human crisis in southeast Texas was just beginning. Harvey will drive 30,000 to shelters in Texas, FEMA says.

Rescue effort costs _____
While wind damage insurance claims alone could reach as high as $6 billion, flooding costs could be even larger.
FEMA already owes the U.S. Treasury more than $24 billion, which was provided for previous disaster relief efforts.

Disaster assistance _____
On Monday morning, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said more than 450,000 Texans will need disaster assistance relief in the wake of the storm.
President Donald Trump has approved a federal emergency disaster declaration, directing government aid toward the relief and recovery efforts. Under this declaration, the U.S. government will cover about 75% of some of the relief costs.
At least 15 states are sending first response teams to Texas.

Small business fate _____
The longer the recovery effort takes, the less likely it is the area’s small businesses will survive the economic damage. About 40% of small businesses won’t survive this type of natural disaster.

Gas prices _____
Because many of the United States’ oil refineries are located in Texas, outages have already caused gas prices to hit a 2-year high. Texas boasts a refining capacity of more than 5.6 million barrels per day, according to the EIA.
About 16% of that capacity has been taken out due to the storm. Some experts predict gas prices could rise by as much as 25 cents.

BREAKING UPDATES _____
For breaking updates on Harvey, view the comments for this post. Your comments are welcome.

 

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Comments
  1. Sigrid Egan says:

    WHAT A SAD SITUATION IN HOUSTON. I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE, LOSING YOUR HOME AND EVERYTHING DEAR INSIDE AND THE PROSPECT OF BEING HOMELESS FOR SOME TIME.

    >

    • atridim says:

      Sad indeed. I visited Houston a couple of times in the 1970s. Its on very low ground, only 60 feet above sea level. Some of the areas are only 20 feet above, especially along the Buffalo Bayou which meanders thru the heart of Houston. Its where much of the worst flooding occurred.
      Thank for your comment.

  2. ahuelon says:

    This a a beautifully written and reported piece documenting the horror happening as a result of Harvey. I hope you write more during the coming months and years relating to this story, and follow the rebuilding of the damaged areas. I hope many choose a safer place to rebuild as they are always in harms way from Mother Nature. Many lives have been changed forever.

    • atridim says:

      Thanks for your words of kindness. I will do my best to continue covering this disaster. The Houston coast is a dangerous place to live. We should remember the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. It killed 8000-12,000 people. I am concerned that FEMA, financed by US tax dollars and expansion of the US national debt will cover billions of dollars (75% of response costs) on this. More intelligence should go into where people build homes and businesses. Uncle Sam can not continue to bail out STUPIDITY. Thanks for your comment.

  3. ahuelon says:

    Reblogged this on AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL and commented:
    This a beautifully written account of the disaster that Harvey caused on the coast of Texas and beyond. This event caused by Mother Nature needs to be documented for future generations to read. This is written by a friend and fellow Blogger who always reports on stories and news of excellence and quality content. I hope this account of the disaster is reblogged my many.

  4. ahuelon says:

    It is expected that this will surpass, in cost, of dealing with disasters in the past. Katrina…160 Billion, Sandy…70.2 Billion, Andrew…47.8 Billion. I will be surprised if the Katrina figure is not doubled when all of the costs are in. Even a 50 percent increase would put it at 240 billion. It will be years before the figures are finalized I am guessing. I wonder if the idiots in the global warming camps will jump on this and blame that movement. Will Al Gore jump into this narrative. Nature happens. I wonder who they are blaming for the Ice age?

    • atridim says:

      The final total will be staggering…likely the most costly in U.S. history. I think global warming had little effect on this. Looking back 117 years ago, a hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900, on the coast just south of Houston, killed 8000-12,000 people. If a hurricane of that magnitude hit Houston today, the current death toll and destruction would be monumentally higher. Thanks for your comment.

  5. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: Officials in Brazoria County, southwest of Houston, say levee is breached, urge residents to evacuate.
    Emergency comes as state and local first responders, the Coast Guard and brave volunteers conducted more than 3,000 boat and air rescues, and the number continued to climb. The state’s entire National Guard force was activated, deploying about 12,000 guardsmen to flooded communities.

  6. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: National Weather Service: Harvey has broken all-time Texas rain record from a tropical storm or hurricane.
    Southeast of Houston, a rain gauge at Mary’s Creek at Winding Road has picked up 49.32 inches of rain from Harvey, the weather service said. This broke the record of 48 inches set in Medina, Texas, from Amelia in 1978. It’s only 3 inches from the all-time U.S. rainfall record from a tropical cyclone, which was 52 inches in Hawaii from Hurricane Hiki in 1950.

  7. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: A Houston police officer drowned in his car while on the way to work Sunday, raising Tropical Storm Harvey’s death toll to 15.

  8. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: Rain record broken in Texas as Harvey dumps nearly 52 inches.
    Nearly 52 inches of rain have been recorded in Cedar Bayou, Texas, the National Weather Service reported on Tuesday – a figure that broke the continental U.S. record.

  9. atridim says:

    President Trump visited Texas today in Corpus Christi, where it was sunny with no rain was falling … far southwest of the flooding in Houston. Not sure what good it did. It might have been better if he stayed in one of his many resorts an just tweeted a message, which would have saved taxpayers about a million dollars. He did not fool Captain Rick.

  10. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: Houston mayor imposes curfew to curb overnight looting in evacuated homes.
    The curfew is to last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The mayor also warned residents Tuesday about people impersonating law enforcement officers.

  11. atridim says:

    ANJ BREAKING: In the four days since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, federal and local agencies say they’ve rescued more than 13,000 people in Houston and surrounding areas.

  12. ahuelon says:

    Acording Gov. Abbott this morning that about 24,000 National Guard are involved. !0,000 have come form outside Texas. More flooding is expected to continue for up to a week. Port Arthur has reported that their whole city is underwater. Harris County has a mandatory evacuation because of a possible levee breach. 200 vehicles and 200 boats are coming from the Dept. of Defense to be placed where needed. The number of counties are now 33 (14 just added) that have been added to the Federal Disaster Declaration list as of today. Looters and anyone price gouging will be aggressively delt with. One Best Western Hotel has already lost their franchise. Gov. said guilty companies will be put out of bussiness. There are reports of cases of water being sold for $99.00. One report said looters will be shot. Don’t mess with Texas is the strong message being sent out by officials. This information is from the Capital of Texas on 8-30-17.

    • atridim says:

      Thanks for your report. For the benefit of readers, Port Arthur is about 70 miles east of Houston near the TX/LA border … where Harvey made its second landfall earlier today.

  13. atridim says:

    Tropical Storm Harvey made its second landfall early Wednesday, hitting just west of Cameron, Louisiana, which is in the southwest corner of the state. It is expected to weaken and continue to the north towards Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, dumping more rain along its path.

  14. atridim says:

    $160 Billion is an early damage estimate for Harvey, expected to be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. This is equal to the combined cost of storms Katrina and Sandy, and represents a 0.8% economic hit to the gross national product. Texas are expected to need a ‘many-year’ recovery.

  15. atridim says:

    The Harris County Flood Control District said Wednesday that nearly all waterways in and around Houston have crested and water is starting to recede. Tropical Storm Harvey, which made a second landfall Wednesday, is forecast to drop substantial amounts of rain in Louisiana before moving on to Arkansas, Tennessee and parts of Missouri.

  16. atridim says:

    Houston’s two busy airports will resume limited operations at 4 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET), the airports’ operating agency announced Wednesday afternoon.

  17. atridim says:

    DEATH TOLL RISES: Tropical Storm Harvey-related death toll rises to 20, sheriff says.

  18. atridim says:

    47 confirmed deaths

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