Harvey is causing destruction and ‘unprecedented’ flooding in Texas — here’s what it looks like on the ground

Hurricane Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor in Texas on Friday night, with wind speeds as high as 130 mph.

The storm continues to slowly move inland, and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. As of 2 p.m. CDT Saturday, it was still packing maximum winds of 40 mph.

Officials anticipate that Harvey will continue dumping rain on Texas through for days, with expected rainfall between 15 and 25 inches in many places. A few isolated spots could see up to 50 inches.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that flooding will be “catastrophic and life-threatening,” and the National Weather Service called the rainfall “unprecedented.”

Here’s what it looks like on the ground.


Hurricane Harvey made landfall just before 10 p.m. on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane.

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Hurricane Harvey is pictured off the coast of Texas, from aboard the International Space Station.
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NASA via Reuters

Some areas in the storm’s path, including Houston, are estimated to have gotten over 22 inches of rain already. Floodwaters are cresting 10 feet in some areas, submerging cars and homes, residents reported.

Source: National Weather Service


But the total rainfall could reach over 4 feet in some places, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.

Source: National Hurricane Center


Thousands of people evacuated their homes, some being pulled into boats from their rooftops the water had risen so high.

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Lisa Rehr holds her four-year old son Maximus, after they lost their home to Hurricane Harvey, as they await to be evacuated with their belongings from Rockport, Texas on August 26, 2017.
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REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Rainfall over 50 inches would topple Texas records. The NWS said “the breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before and is resulting in catastrophic flooding.”


Roads turned to rivers as emergency responders rushed to rescue stranded drivers.


Harvey is expected to stall over Texas for four days — which is why experts warn that dangerous floods and what could be record rainfall are still to come. On Sunday afternoon, Texas is only about halfway through the worst of the storm.


The Weather Channel reported that Harvey pushed water 2 to 7 feet above average tide levels near the coastal town of Corpus Christi.

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Stewart Adams, of San Marcos, Texas, plays in the winds from Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S. August 25, 2017.
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Adrees Latif/Reuters

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center are also warning people not to attempt driving through even mildly flooded roadways. According to NOAA, 12 inches of fast-moving water can carry away a small car, and 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult.

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A car is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey in Point Comfort, Texas, August 26, 2017.
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Rick Wilking/Reuters

Rockport, Texas has been hit especially hard. Reports suggest many buildings, including a senior center, court house, and high school, have been badly damaged, and debris are strewn everywhere.

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Business owner and resident Carlos Lopez assesses damage from Hurricane Harvey after arriving at his electronics repair shop in Rockport, Texas, U.S. August 26, 2017.
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Adrees Latif/Reuters

Rockport was under mandatory evacuation, but firefighters remained at the fire station, ABC reports. They had to wait to respond until weather conditions improved enough for them to travel.

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A fallen tree lies along a road as an emergency response team arrives to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas.
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Adrees Latif/Reuters

Source: ABC News


On Friday, Rockport’s Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios told people staying in the area to “mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number” in case rescuers needed to identify them.

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A Rockport firefighter goes door to door on a search and rescue mission as he looks for people that may need help after Hurricane Harvey passed through on August 26, 2017 in Rockport, Texas.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

So far, one death has been confirmed in Rockport, and another was reported in Houston when a woman’s car was submerged in water and she drowned trying to escape.

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Cars sit abandoned at a flooded gas station after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf coast and brought heavy rain to the region, in Houston, Texas on August 26, 2017.
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REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Source: AP


On Saturday morning, the Coast Guard sent two helicopters to try to rescue the crews of three tugboats in distress, according to the AP. ABC reports 18 people were saved. The crews issued mayday calls from the Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas, Texas.

Source: Associated Press, ABC


The storm surge, the quick rise in water caused by a hurricane’s strong winds, on the Texas coast crested several feet at the height of the storm. By Sunday afternoon, the storm surge warning was discontinued.

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Boats are pushed ashore by Hurricane Harvey in Port Lavaca, Texas, August 26, 2017.
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Rick Wilking/Reuters

Source: NWS


Because strong winds, flooding, and debris on roadways have kept emergency crews from reaching many areas, it will be a while until a full assessment of damage can be done.


Residents of Aransas Pass, Ingleside, Rockport, and others have been advised that it is not safe to return home right now, and it likely won’t be for days.

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A ranch house is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey near Port Lavaca, Texas, August 26, 2017.
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Rick Wilking/Reuters

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is reporting numerous road closures throughout the coastal area.

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A collapsed overhead gantry lies across Interstate 37, blocking the highway due to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi
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Mohammad Khursheed/Reuters

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times


The Corpus Christi Police Department reported on Twitter that numerous traffic lights are out, and many roads are full of debris and downed power lines.

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Traffic lights lie on a street after being knocked down, as Hurricane Harvey approaches in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Adrees Latif/Reuters

According to the Associated Press, nearly 300,000 Texans are currently without power. Corpus Christi asked all residents to boil water before drinking it because the power outages are affecting the wastewater treatment plant.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times


President Donald Trump commended the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, for his handling of the hurricane in a tweet on Saturday. “You are doing a great job – the world is watching! Be safe,” Trump wrote.

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Waves pound the shore from approaching Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Before the hurricane hit, many areas in Harvey’s path issued mandatory evacuation orders. Residents of nearby regions cleared out grocery store shelves in preparation for the storm.

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A unidentified woman looks over bare refrigerator shelves in a Walmart store in Houston, Texas, as Hurricane Harvey approaches landfall.
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Ernest Scheyder/Reuters

The Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority began busing evacuees to San Antonio on Thursday. However, on Saturday morning it stopped all service until further notice.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his government was preparing to assist 41,000 evacuees. The American Red Cross has opened pop-up shelters throughout San Antonio, and had 6,000 beds ready by Friday morning.

Sources: New York Times, San Antonio Current, News 4 San Antonio


Some oil refineries in South Texas have shut down operations, which will likely cause the price of gasoline to spike.

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An oil refinery is seen before the arrival of Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The National Weather Service is warning Texas residents to think of Harvey’s intense rainfall as a marathon, not a sprint.

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A tree is seen knocked sideways during the passing of Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images