Hurricane Harvey: Strong gusts and torrential rain batter Texas

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Hurricane Harvey has smashed into Texas with strong winds and torrential rain in the fiercest hurricane to hit the US in more than a decade.

The National Hurricane Center said the eye of the Category 4 hurricane reached land about 10 pm, bringing with it 130 mph sustained winds and flooding rains.

Harvey’s approach sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing the Gulf Coast, hoping to escape the wrath of a menacing storm that threatened an area of Texas including oil refineries, chemical plants and dangerously flood-prone Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott had warned that the monster system would be “a very major disaster,” and the predictions drew comparisons to Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest ever to strike the U.S. 

Reports of damage began to emerge from Rockport, a coastal city of about 10,000 people that was directly in the path of Harvey when it came ashore. 

City manager Kevin Carruth said multiple people were taken to the county’s jail for assessment and treatment after the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed. KIII-TV reports that 10 people have been treated there. 

Fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, Harvey grew rapidly, accelerating from a Category 1 early Friday morning to a Category 4 by evening. Its transformation from an unnamed storm to a life-threatening behemoth took only 56 hours, an incredibly fast intensification. 

Harvey came ashore as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961’s Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record. 

Based on the atmospheric pressure, Harvey ties for the 18th strongest hurricane on landfall in the U.S. since 1851 and ninth strongest in Texas. 

Additional reporting by Associated Press.


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