As political machinations across the country accelerate, it seems that a similar pattern is happening with the weather. A new hurricane is approaching with the potential to cause extreme damage at levels that have rarely been seen before.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has officially declared a state of disaster for 30 counties due to Tropical Depression Harvey’s coming landfall. With various groups raising their readiness levels as the storm approaches, new indications show that Harvey could be a hurricane at landfall – which could cause life-threatening flooding across the region, according to Independent Journal Review.
Hurricane Harvey is poised to cause serious damage to the southeastern portion of Texas, having redeveloped Wednesday morning, and is forecast to roar into Texas and Louisiana by the end of this week.
The rainfall from Harvey could cause life-threatening flooding across the region. The Weather Channel supported this notion via a posted graphic on their Twitter page showing the rainfall outlook. The city of Houston, in particular, is most at risk for extreme flooding and heavy rainfall.
Harvey is expected to produce a total rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with some areas receiving as much as 20 inches of rain. The rainfall is expected to begin as early as Friday morning and will most likely carry on throughout the weekend into next Tuesday.
At a City Council meeting yesterday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that now is the time for citizens to prepare, encouraging every resident to make an emergency kit, reduce travel, and monitor conditions–among other emergency preparations.
“Texans believe in taking action and always being prepared in the event of an emergency,” Abbott said. “That is why I am taking every precaution prior to…Harvey making landfall.”
Harvey currently has winds of 35 mph and was stationary. The center of the storm is located 470 miles southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas. A depression becomes a storm once it has a sustained wind speed of 39 mph. It later becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.
Interestingly, the slower the forward-moving speed of a tropical storm or hurricane, the more dangerous it is in terms of rainfall and flooding. As storms move slower, they remain the in the same region for longer periods of time, meaning there is more rainfall to accumulate. Flooding becomes a serious problem in such cases.
In some cases, slow moving storms and hurricanes with forward-moving speeds of 5 mph can result in as much as 30 inches of rainfall in an afflicted area.
The United States has seen its fair share of devastation from hurricanes, both on the East Coast and on the Gulf Coast. Have you ever experienced property damage from a hurricane?
With some projections showing the tropical storm becoming a Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 110mph, Texans are encouraged to stock up on sandbags, water, and urged to board up windows while they still have a chance.
“We know that if anything as far as flooding happens, that’s the one thing everyone runs to, we have to have water,” said one citizen to a CNN affiliate reporter. “It’s a big deal; it scares the hell out of people. It’s better to be prepared.”
Those who live in the area should heed the officials’ warnings, prepare and evacuate if ordered to do so. Standing water should be avoided if at all possible, and residents should closely monitor emergency channels until the danger has passed. Hopefully, residents will heed the warnings and stay safe during the storm.