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article imageHarvey devours Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas as its moves on

By Karen Graham     Aug 30, 2017 in Environment
When Tropical Storm Harvey came onshore Wednesday morning, it slowed long enough to devour two more Texas cities, leaving Beaumont and Port Arthur underwater after unleashing over two feet of rain in southeastern Texas.
As of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center places Tropical Storm Harvey about 50 miles (80 kilometers) North of Lake Charles, Louisiana and 50 miles (80 kilometers) Southwest of Alexandria, Louisiana. Harvey is still producing tropical storm-force winds of 40 mph (65 kph), with a minimum central pressure of 998 MB, 29.47 inches.
Harvey is moving at 8.0 mph (13 kph) although it is rather erratic, toward the north-northeast, and this movement is expected to last through the night, with the storm making a turn toward the Northeast sometime Thursday evening. This will take its center through southwestern and central Louisiana tonight, then move through northeastern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi Thursday and Thursday night.
Vehicles lie abandoned beside the Barker Reservoir after the Army Corp of Engineers started to relea...
Vehicles lie abandoned beside the Barker Reservoir after the Army Corp of Engineers started to release water into the Clodine district as Hurricane Harvey caused heavy flooding in Houston, Texas on August 29, 2017
MARK RALSTON, AFP/File
There is still a lot of rain left in Harvey, with an additional 4 to 8 inches of rainfall expected from southwestern Louisiana and its border with eastern Texas northeastward into western Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. Isolated amounts of up to 12
inches are possible.
Catastrophic and life threatening flooding will continue in and around Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur, eastward into southwest Louisiana for the rest of the week. Heavy rains have spread into western Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
Rescuers and volunteers
First responders and volunteers have been stretched to the limits of their endurance as rescues have gone on day and night, trying to get to people trapped in their homes by the flood waters. Many people, for whatever reason, have refused to leave their homes, adding to the confusion of rescuers trying to get them to safety.
Civilian rescuers like the ones here in Cypress  Texas have played an important role in the Harvey r...
Civilian rescuers like the ones here in Cypress, Texas have played an important role in the Harvey relief effort
MANDEL NGAN, AFP
The death toll has reached 28, and is expected to rise in the national disaster attributed to Harvey, 19 of them in Houston. Tuesday morning, rescuers in Beaumont came upon a toddler in a pink backpack clinging to her mother's body in flood waters about a half mile from their car. The mother had apparently stepped out of her car and into a canal, Mayor Becky Ames told CNN.
In Port Arthur, about 90 miles east of Houston, the flooding was so severe it got into the Bob Bowers Civic Center, which was serving as a shelter. By this afternoon, about 300 of the 650 people who had sought shelter were still waiting to be moved about 10 miles up the road to a Middle School to safety.
Motive Enterprises  Port Arthur refinery was shut down due to flooding caused by Harvey. It is the c...
Motive Enterprises' Port Arthur refinery was shut down due to flooding caused by Harvey. It is the country's largest refinery. CC License: Attrition, no deriv.
Google Maps Satellite photo
Country's largest refinery shut down because of Harvey
When Harvey began moving over southwestern Louisiana, Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur refinery, the country’s biggest, began a controlled shutdown this morning. With refineries in the Beaumont and Houston areas still shut down, the energy market has been thrown into disarray.
The storm has also had an impact on the distribution of crude oil and other products in the pipelines. "Flooding from storm Harvey is now the greatest threat to U.S. Gulf Coast energy infrastructure," according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, reports Bloomberg.
Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery can process 605,000 barrels of oil a day. They have no idea of how long they will be down, depending on the flood waters. Total SA’s refinery in the same area also had a power loss, which led to a shutdown, while Valero Energy Corp.’s nearby facility was also in the process of shutting down.
CC License: Attrition  no deriv.
CC License: Attrition, no deriv.
Enki Research
Bottom line to this story is there just are not enough boats and high-water vehicles to rescue people, and the death toll is expected to rise. Losses from Harvey could range from $48 billion to $75 billion, according to risk modeler Chuck Watson of Enki Research.
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