Hurricane Harvey intensified rapidly into a category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. Harvey is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Charley in 2004. The National Hurricane Center reported at 10 p.m. CDT that the center of the eye of the cyclone had just crossed the Texas shoreline over the northern end of a barrier island about four miles east of the city of Rockport.
Numerous structures in Rockport had been destroyed. Some buildings collapsed with people trapped inside. A high school in Rockport and the police department were also affected. The hurricane crept northward, driving the worst of the storm surge flooding into the central Texas coast. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday afternoon urged citizens to evacuate low-lying and coastal areas immediately.
Hurricane Harvey in Texas
President Trump said Friday night that he has signed a disaster proclamation in Texas, "which unleashes the full force of government help!" Billions of dollars of property damage and almost certainly loss of life are expected. Without doubts, Texas is about to experience one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the state. It has the potential of being the strongest hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961, which killed 34 and injured 465. Houston is not in Harvey's path. Instead, the area would have a "major rain event." The weather service said "rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding."Some hospitals closed facilities and moved patients. The hurricane is expected to slow its forward motion and move slowly over southeast Texas for the next couple of days.