Although Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane and is weakening, forecasters are predicting that rainfall generated by the storm system could continue for several more days. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) reported that the storm made landfall on Saturday at around 0300 UTC between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, with maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH. Winds have subsided to 75 MPH, but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) now says that Harvey is “drenching Texas” and “torrential rains” are expected to produce “total rain accumulations of 15 to 30 inches and isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast through Thursday.”
“During the same time period Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 15 inches in far south Texas, the Texas Hill Country and southwest and central Louisiana. Rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.” In addition, the combination of a dangerous storm surge and tides will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas. FEMA said some 300,000 customers are without power in Texas.
As then-Category 4 Hurricane Harvey bore down on his state, ARRL South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC, reported that all 97 South Texas counties were on alert, with many preparing to assist coastal areas as needed.