Hurricane Harvey – now Tropical Strom Harvey – has caused damage throughout the Gulf Coast and Houston area and after stalling out over the region for days, the storm is starting to move, still slowly.
After making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey is still a tropical storm and is not projected to becoming a tropical depression until early Friday morning when it reaches Mississippi.
Harvey was tagged as a potential tropical cyclone Aug. 17, according to a timeline published Aug. 26 by the Associated Press. Two days later the storm was a tropical depression before being downgraded further to a tropical wave.
By Aug. 23, though, the storm regenerated into Tropical Storm Harvey and became a Category 1 hurricane by Thursday afternoon. Between Thursday at 1 p.m. and Friday evening at 6 p.m., Harvey intensified to a from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Harvey made landfall Friday evening between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, near Rockport, devastating the Gulf Coast region with 130-140 mph winds and storm surge. The storm ultimately made two landfalls with the eye passing over a sand spit before coming ashore.
While the storm weakened as it reached land, downgraded to a Category 1 by Saturday at 5 a.m.
The storm downgraded to Tropical Storm Harvey later in the day, and forecasters showed the storm stalling over the region, slowing at one point to 1 mph. The system circled back around to the coast and Monday moved back out to the Gulf of Mexico before making a third landfall near the Texas and Louisiana state line.
Since moving inland, Houston and the surrounding area have received millions – and possibly, trillions – of gallons of rain with some areas seeing between 30 and close to 50 inches of rain.
The National Weather Service noted Monday they had implemented new color charts to accurately show the amount of rain that have fallen and will fall due to Harvey.
Sunday, as the waters were continuing to rise in Houston and the surrounding areas, the NWS wrote on social media, “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced.”
In some areas, homes that did not see flooding during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 or Hurricane Ike in 2008 found themselves under voluntary and mandatory evacuations with rivers, bayous and reservoirs approaching historic levels.
People from across Texas and other states throughout the country have traveled to Houston with tall vehicles and boats to aid in water rescues throughout the area. Members of the Kilgore Fire Department also traveled to Galveston to help with relief efforts.