Update: Two people are dead as Harvey continues to hover over Texas

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Harvey continued to pummel Texas during the early hours of Sunday morning, dropping half a foot of rain on Houston and causing dire, and deadly, flash floods.

Officials in Houston said early Sunday that a woman was found dead in her vehicle, believed to have been trapped during a flood. As midnight local time struck, police and rescue workers continue to plea with residents to stay indoors and not attempt to travel flooded roadways.

“There’s flooding all over this city,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a livestream video early Sunday morning. “We have one fatality, and a potential second fatality from the flood waters out here.”

In a midnight update, the National Weather Service said that almost all of Harris County had seen between four and six inches of rain in the prior three hours.

Harvey pounded the Texas coast on Saturday, making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane that destroyed buildings and caused widespread power outages as residents evacuated towns. Later downgraded to a tropical storm, Harvey crept inland, then stalled and dropped hours of torrential rain that officials said has caused catastrophic flooding across a broad section of the state.

The woman in Houston was Harvey’s second fatality. Officials earlier confirmed another death near the small coastal town of Rockport, which took a direct hit from the storm, as search and rescue operations continued in ravaged areas that are still largely inaccessible. Officials said Rockport could receive as much as 60 inches of rain through midweek.

“We’ve been devastated,” Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax said in a telephone interview. “There are structures that are either significantly disrupted or completely destroyed. I have some buildings that are lying on the street.”

In nearby Pasadena, residents were ordered early Sunday to shelter in place. “Flooding is ongoing; roadways are impassable,” city officials warned. “Please do not leave until all-clear is given.”

Among the cities at risk of major flooding is Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest, with a population in excess of 2 million. Saturday evening, the city was buffeted by mammoth rains and nonstop lightning. The National Weather Service warned of a flash flood emergency for areas of southeast Texas, including Harris County, where Houston is located.

In the coming days, forecasters expect the storm to meander south and east, and possibly slip back out over the warm gulf waters, allowing it to restrengthen to some extent. All the while, it will dump what could be historic quantities of rain — 15 to 30 inches in many areas, with as much as 40 inches in isolated areas, according to the National Weather Service.

As many as 300,000 people across the state were without power Saturday afternoon, and wastewater and drinking-water treatment plants were offline.

The National Weather Service predicted “major flood” conditions at some 49 river locations across a vast expanse of coastal Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he had declared 50 counties disaster areas. With the storm now ashore, he said that “our primary concern remains dramatic flooding.” He urged residents to follow the familiar advice: “Turn around, don’t drown.”

In the nearby island town of Port Aransas, officers conducted a search and rescue mission for eight people who have been reported missing, an Aransas County sheriff’s deputy said.

Many coastal Texans ignored mandatory evacuation orders and hunkered down for Harvey.

“We’ve always stayed. Daddy taught us well how to ride out a storm,” said Melissa Stewart, 41, of Victoria. “It’s always better to stay than to run.”

That city was directly in the line of fire of Harvey and emerged Saturday looking trashed, with the streets deserted and trees and power lines down all over the city. The once-stately oaks in the public square by the historic courthouse had lost many of their limbs. On the main drag through town, the Exxon station looked demolished, along with a Valero station nearby. Plywood that had been nailed to storefronts littered the streets. Shingles had been blown off roofs.

Bryan Simons, spokesman for the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office, warned that more devastation was coming.

“There will be life-threatening, catastrophic flooding here,” he said.

Previous story:
One person is dead and more than a dozen are injured after Harvey made landfall in Texas and dumped inches of rain across the state, officials said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is warning of the "potential for very dramatic flooding" from Harvey. He's expanded a state declaration of emergency from the state's original 30 counties to 50.

Abbott said Saturday that the biggest concern is the possibility of between 20 and 30 inches (51 to 76 centimeters) more of rain from Corpus Christi to Houston.

A Texas judge says there's one confirmed death from Harvey in the coastal city of Rockport. The Austin American-Statesman reports that Aransas County Judge C.H. "Burt" Mills Jr. also says 12 to 14 people were injured by Harvey, which came ashore Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Abbott says state military forces activated 1,300 service members to help with storm response. He said the Red Cross had opened 21 shelters holding about 1,450 people.


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Harvey, the category 4 hurricane, made landfall on Friday at around 11pm on the Texas coast. Winds at the time were registering above 125 mph.

The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 130 mph as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a "life-threatening storm."

The storm quickly grew Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, and then developed into a Category 2 storm early Friday. By Friday afternoon, it had become a Category 3 storm. It's forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday.

The slow-moving storm is fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters. Forecasters are labeling it a "life-threatening storm" with landfall predicted late Friday or early Saturday between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile stretch of coastline about 70 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

The storm will continue to hover over the Texas coast and, despite weakening to a tropical storm by Sunday morning, will dump more rain over an already soaked and flooded area. Rainfall totals between 30"-40" are expected in the worst hit areas. The storm won't completely exit the region until late next week.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Forecasters now say there's a good chance Hurricane Harvey may hit Texas twice, worsening projected flooding.

The National Hurricane Center's official five-day forecast Friday has Harvey slamming the central Texas coast, stalling and letting loose with lots of rain. Then forecasters project the weakened but still tropical storm is likely to go back into the Gulf of Mexico, gain some strength and hit Houston next week.

Jeff Masters, Weather Underground's meteorology director, said this could cause a collision of high water with nowhere to go. Harvey is projected to drop up to 3 feet (0.91 meter) of rain in some places over the next several days.

But a second landfall near Houston means more storm surge coming from the Gulf. Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water above the normal tide, generated by a storm.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Hurricane Harvey will likely become a major hurricane and move onshore along the Texas coastline Friday night.

Sustained winds have reached 110 mph. A major hurricane means winds greater than 110 mph.

Forecasters say a "life-threatening" storm surge along with torrential rains and dangerous winds were likely as Harvey nears the Texas coastline.

Landfall is expected late Friday night along the central Texas coastline between Port O'Connor and Corpus Christi. Sustained winds at landfall are expected to be between 115 to 130 mph, a category 3 or potentially category 4 hurricane.

The hurricane center says it's possible the storm then could just stall inland for as many as three to five days, greatly exacerbating the threat of severe flooding.

The last hurricane to hit Texas was Ike, a category 2 storm, in September 2008. It brought winds of 110 mph (177 kph) in the Galveston and Houston areas and left damages of $22 billion.

The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma in 2005. Wilma was a category 3 hurricane when it hit southwest Florida with sustained winds of 120 mph..


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As of midday Thursday, Tropical storm Harvey has maximum winds of 65 mph and is undergoing rapid intensification. Harvey is expected to become a hurricane later today and reach major hurricane strength of at least category 3 status by Friday evening. On the forecast track, Harvey will strike the central coast of Texas late Friday or early Saturday. The system is expected to slow down and continue to pound parts of Texas with extreme rainfall, strong winds, and a high storm surge. Hurricane warnings are in effect for portions of the Texas coast.

Another disturbance is located to the southeast of Florida and has a 30% chance of being named in the next 5 days. Should this system organize, the biggest threat to our area will be heavy rain and increase surf by next Monday.

The next 2 names after Harvey are Irma and Jose.

Track the storms - CLICK HERE