Hurricane Harvey Nears Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico
SOUTHEASTERN U.S. - Tropical Storm Harvey is now offically Hurricane Harvey, said the National Hurricane Center this morning. With forecasters now predicting Harvey hitting wind speeds upwards of 111 mph, a Category 3 status, the Gulf of Mexico is on watch, including Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico.
According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, around 10-20 inches of rain will likely blast the areas around southern and eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from Friday into early next week. In some areas, Kottlowski estimates that rain totals could reach more than two feet. The National Hurricane Center expects Harvey to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge, and hurricane conditions around the Texas coast.
“Texans believe in taking action and always being prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who had issued a preemptive state of disaster declaration for 30 counties while Harvey was still a depression. "Preemptively declaring a state of disaster will allow Texas to quickly deploy resources for the emergency response effort in anticipation of the storm's hazardous conditions.”
A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with a storm surge watch stretching north to High Island, on Galveston Bay, CNN reports. And as a slow moving storm, the National Hurricane Center warned that Harvey has an increased threat of a prolonged period of heavy rain and flooding across portions of Texas, southwest Louisiana, and northeastern Mexico into early next week. If these peak storm surge arrives during high tide, CNN also warned that parts of the coast could see 2 to 7 feet of flooding, with the potential of 6 to 10 feet between Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent, Texas.
As for the produce industry, much of the storms look to be away from the Mexico-Texas border where it would directly impact warehouse operations and logistics. As of now, there seems to be no imminent threat. However, Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico should expect power outages, shut down gas stations and refineries, and increased fuel prices. CNN also warns that flight delays and airline cancellations will be likely into the weekend, and parts of Interstate 10, I-37, and I-45 may close.