Harvey downgraded to Category 2 hurricane, winds at 110 mph

Hurricane expected to make landfall early Saturday

By Ben Spicer - Web Producer, Sarah Spivey - Meteorologist, Mike Osterhage - KSAT Weather Authority Meteorologist, Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator, Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO - Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. Winds are at 110 mph.

Steady rain has arrived in Bexar County from an outer band of Hurricane Harvey. Gusts are as high as 40 mph.

On the Coastal Plain, gusts are as high as 75+ mph with constant rain in Bee, Goliad, and Victoria Counties.

Updated at 1:30 a.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Emergency personnel in Aransas County, Texas, are assessing damage reports from Hurricane Harvey as they are able.

Rockport Volunteer Fire Department spokeswoman Gillian Cox tells the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the roof of Rockport's high school has partially caved in. But Cox says social media posts that the school has "disappeared" are inaccurate.

Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth tells the newspaper that the courthouse in the city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi also has sustained major damage. Carruth says that a cargo trailer is halfway in the building.

Officials about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away in Aransas Pass say the Harbor Master Building along its coast has been destroyed. The Aransas Pass Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page of the building folding up from the high-speed winds.

Updated at 12:30 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

The city manager in Rockport, Texas, says multiple people have been 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 in Rockport since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast city Friday night. The Associated Press was unable to reach an operator at the Aransas County Detention Center in Rockport just after midnight.

City manager Kevin Carruth tells the station that Rockport's historic downtown area also has seen heavy damage. He says there also are reports of damage to vehicles and roofs.

Harvey is lashing a wide swath of southeast Texas with strong winds and torrential rain as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade.

Updated at 11:50 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Rockport, Texas, officials are receiving reports of damage from Hurricane Harvey, but emergency officials are having trouble responding.

Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth said by phone that he had heard reports of a tree falling into a mobile home and roofs collapsing on houses. The city, about 31 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi, had peak wind surges of more than 125 miles per hour, according to National Weather Service reports.

Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims says there are about 15 volunteer firefighters hunkered down at the city's fire station waiting for conditions to improve enough for their vehicles to safely travel and to assess the damage to the city of about 10,000 people.

"There's nothing we can do at this moment. We are anxious to get out there and make assessments, but we're hunkered down for now," he said.

Updated at 10:30 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Hurricane Harvey has landed.

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of the Category 4 hurricane made landfall about 10 p.m. Friday about 30 miles east-northeast of Corpus Christi between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas, bringing with it 130 mph (215 kmh) sustained winds and flooding rains.

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 before strengthening to a Category 4. Harvey is the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the Texas coast since Hurricane Carla in 1961.

Updated at 9:15 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

President Donald Trump says he has signed a disaster declaration for Texas as Hurricane Harvey nears on the middle Texas coast.

Trump announced his declaration in a posting on his Twitter account.

At 9 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was "almost onshore" with 130 mph (215 kmh) sustained winds.

A center statement said a station at Aransas Pass run by the Texas Coastal Observing Network had reported a sustained wind of 102 mph (165 kmh) with a gust to 120 mph (193 kmh).

Updated at 8:10 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Hurricane Harvey is on the verge of landfall on the middle Texas Gulf coast.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 8 p.m. CDT Friday that the storm's eyewall had begun coming ashore with 130 mph winds.

The NHC defines the eyewall as a ring of clouds that surround the eye of the cyclone. Landfall is when the eye reaches the coast.

Harvey strengthened rapidly late this week from a tropical depression to a dangerous Category 4 hurricane.
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Updated at 7:55 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Officials said they had no idea how many Corpus Christi residents heeded their urge to voluntary evacuate the city of 325,000 and nearby low-lying areas taking the brunt of the storm.

Nueces County spokesman Tyner Little said traffic inland "was not hugely heavy as we've seen with other hurricanes."

He said the local sheriff said 90 percent of Port Aransas had left.

Nevertheless, Little said county officials were "kind of freaked out" because the hurricane was tracking closer to Corpus Christi than officials had expected.

Driving into the city on an empty interstate Friday evening, a reporter saw flames flaring from a half-dozen stacks, casting an eerie glow beneath scudding, slate gray hurricane clouds.
 

Updated at 7:20 p.m.:

(AP UPDATE)

Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph with gusts to 160 mph. Harvey will remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it makes landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor tonight on the Middle Texas coast.

Hurricane force winds have reached the coast early this evening. The C-MAN station at Port Aransas measured a gust to 103 mph at 6:30 p.m. Hurricane Harvey will make a direct impact on the communities of Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Rockport, Fulton, Lamar, Bayside, Refugio, Austwell, Tivoli, and Seadrift.

Catastrophic impacts will occur where Harvey makes landfall. Structural damage will occur to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failures. Catastrophic flooding is expected due to heavy rainfall and storm surge.

Heavy rainfall is expected through much of the area with rainfall totals of 20 to 30 inches with maximum amounts near 40 inches near and east of a line from near Port Aransas to near Goliad. Outside that area, amounts of 10 to 20 inches are expected from east of a Loyola Beach to George West line. Lesser amounts are expected further west and southwest. These high rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic and life-threatening flash flooding.

The heaviest rains are expected to occur from tonight through Sunday morning, and quite possibly into early next week depending on how long Harvey remains over the area.

Peak storm surge inundation is expected to be 9 to 13 feet above ground level from Port Aransas to Port O'Connor. South of Port Aransas, storm surge is expected to be 4 to 8 feet above ground level.

Impacts would be felt along the barrier islands and into the inland bays and waterways. Isolated locations could see slightly higher inundation from Rockport to Port Lavaca.

Tornadoes and waterspouts are possible as rain bands move onshore early tonight through Saturday, especially north and east of the center of Harvey.

Updated at 6 p.m.:

Harvey has been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane with winds at 130 mph.

The last Category 4 hurricane to hit the Texas coast was Hurricane Carla in 1961.

Updated at 3:15 p.m.:

The National Hurricane Center says tide gauges off the coast of Texas indicate that storm surge is already occurring near Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.

That news comes as the National Hurricane Center says Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm.

The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 120 mph as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a "life-threatening storm."

It's forecast to make landfall on the mid-Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday.

Updated at 2 p.m.:

Hurricane Harvey has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds.

Updated at 12:05 p.m.:

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.

UPDATE: Showers have made it as far inland as Floresville and Pleasanton this morning, KSAT 12 meteorologist Kaiti Blake said. However, the heavier and widespread rain remains closer to the coast. Expect more and more showers to show up closer to San Antonio as the day goes on.

UPDATE: A few people in Karnes, Atascosa, Wilson, and Bee counties are already experiencing passing, moderate rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey, KSAT 12 meteorologist Sarah Spivey said.

The storm is currently a Category 2 with sustained winds of 110 mph and is slated to make landfall late Friday, early Saturday morning near Corpus Christi.

Much of the information is the same right now: Saturday afternoon thru Monday morning, flooding is the main concern for folks around Bexar County with the greatest flooding risk for counties south of I-10 and east of I-37. 

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Dangerous wind gusts and isolated tornadoes will be possible closer to the coast.

KSAT 12 will have another update for you around 10 a.m.

Check out the latest satellite image and find out where Harvey is headed:

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Continued Weather Coverage

Stick with KSAT 12 News, your Weather Authority for the latest weather updates.

Remember, 'Turn Around, Don't Drown': Tips for staying safe while driving in the rain

Read more: CPS Energy offers power outage tips

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(Original Story)

As heavy rain and gusty winds move in over Texas, coastal residents are deciding whether to flee their homes or to stay put and brace for a potentially life-threatening hurricane.

Hurricane Harvey will reach Texas on Friday, bringing as many as 35 inches of rainfall, destructive waves and flood waters that could reach heights of 6-12 feet above ground level along the state's coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

RELATED: List of local school closures, delays due to Hurricane Harvey

RELATED: Safety tips to know before Hurricane Harvey makes landfall along the Texas coast

Forecasters say Harvey is on track to become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph by the time it hits the middle Texas coast later Friday or early Saturday.

After hitting Corpus Christi, the storm is expected to stall over the state, forecasters say.

Latest developments

-- Harvey strengthened early Friday, becoming a Category 2 hurricane with winds up to 100 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

-- Isolated tornadoes are possible across portions of the middle and upper Texas coast on Friday, the service said.

-- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has requested 700 National Guard members to be activated.

-- The Ports of Corpus Christi and Galveston are closed.

-- Three Galveston-based cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico diverted to safer water.

-- A number of counties and cities along the coast have issued mandatory evacuations.

-- Louisiana has declared a statewide emergency.

 

Evacuations

Dozens of city buses will continue taking families out of the hurricane's path on Friday, after at least six counties on the Texas coast issued voluntary or mandatory evacuations.

"I'm shaking inside, but for them, I'm trying to be strong," a Corpus Christi woman who was waiting with her two daughters to board a bus out of the city told CNN affiliate KRIS.

RELATED: SA, Bexar County officially under disaster declaration

RELATED: List of local sporting event cancellations, changes over weekend

In Corpus Christi, the airport will remain open but all Friday flights have been canceled, officials said.

On Thursday, drivers sat bumper-to-bumper as highways that were backed up for miles with people trying leave the coastal region ahead of the storm.

Rose Yepez told CNN it took her twice as long as normal to drive from Corpus Christi to San Antonio. Yepez, who was traveling to the Texas Hill Country, said traffic was constantly slowing down and coming to a stop during the 140-mile drive.Track Harvey: Interactive Tracker

In Port Arkansas, grocery stores and a regional hospital closed after over 50% of residents left town Thursday, city officials said.

Workers at 39 offshore petroleum production platforms and an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico were also evacuated Thursday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

CNN/KSAT 12/ AP 2017