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article imageUpdate on 'life threatening' Category 3 Hurricane Harvey

By Karen Graham     Aug 25, 2017 in Environment
Hurricane and Tropical storm warnings are posted all along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Harvey slowly makes it way onshore, bringing with it "biblical" amounts of rainfall and unprecedented devastation.
The latest update from the National Hurricane Center at 1:00 p.m. shows the Category 2 storm to be 85 miles (140 kilometers) South-Southeast of Corpus Christie, Texas and 90 miles (145 kilometers) South of Port O'Connor, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). The Minimum Central Pressure is 945 MB or 27.91 inches.
Harvey is expected to reach a Category 3 status by the time it makes landfall either tonight or sometime in the early morning hours on Saturday, making it the first major Hurricane to hit the continental United States in 12 years and will likely cause devastating flooding from rain and storm surge.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to High Island Texas. This means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations. This is a life-threatening situation, says the NHC, and it can't be emphasized enough. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.
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Looking ahead to the next 24 hours
As this story is being written, Hurricane Harvey has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm, a MAJOR storm, if you will. The forward speed is expected to decrease significantly during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Harvey will make landfall on the middle Texas coast tonight.
The huge danger is going to be the torrential rainfall, storm surge, and winds, with rainfall accumulations of 15 to 25 inches and isolated maximum amounts of 35 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast through next Wednesday. A storm surge of up to 12-feet is expected, depending on the tides and a few tornadoes can be expected, as well.
New Orleans pump situation
New Orleans is "working around the clock" to repair drainage pumps and turbines that failed during a flooding event earlier this month. Fifteen drainage pumps remain inoperable while officials continue to tell the public the city was keeping a watchful eye on the intensifying storm.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference on Thursday. "There is no need to panic, but there is need to be well-prepared," Landrieu said, adding that first responder staffing was being increased over the weekend and into next week to "have all hands on deck."
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