Hurricane Harvey hit Texas’ shores Friday as a category 4 storm and then downgraded to category 1 after weakening. Thousands of homes have been disconnected from electricity and millions are still at risk. Government officials have urged residents to evacuate.
Watch: Hurricane Harvey hits Texas
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas shores Friday night and was ranked a category 4 storm, the first of such kind since 2004, with winds blowing as fast as 215 kph (130 mph). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warned that it may lead to “a very significant disaster.”
Several hours after the storm hit, its strength was downgraded to a category 1.
Hurricane Harvey hit the shore between Port Aransas and Port O’Conner, north of Corpus Christi, Texas, and is expected to cause a downpour of 90 cm rainfall on the shores of Texas and Louisiana.
Thousands of homes have already been disconnected from electricity and millions were evacuated from their homes for safety reasons.
US President Donald Trump tweeted: “At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!”
According to current estimations of the Houston Meteorological Service, the combination of intense rainfall and strong winds may wreak havoc on large areas of southern Texas, rendering them uninhabitable for weeks or even months.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm may bring destructive waves and floods that may grow as tall as 40 meters above the ground. Residents living near the beaches in the area were requested to evacuate their homes.
Hurricane Harvey Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News
Hurricane Harvey is expected to affect about 1.5 million people who live in the area where it will hit, and another 16 million people who are at risk from a resulting tropical storm.
Texas Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Meanwhile, residents have been storming grocery stores and shopping centers in preparation for the long hours expected in shelters.
Stores in Texas before the storm Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged residents to take steps to protect themselves, saying: “If you’re in an area between Corpus Christi and Houston, you need to strongly consider evacuating.”