TEXAS – With winds of up to 130mph (215 km/h) Hurricane Harvey battered coastal areas in American state Texas on Friday, disrupting daily lives of commoners.
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The storm declared as category 4 is the strongest to hit the state in decades, with catastrophic flooding expected. The last Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. was Charley in 2004 in Florida, while the last Category 4 storm to hit Texas was Carla in 1961.
The main affected areas of Harvey include Corpus Christi and Rockport where preparations were in full swing pre-empting deadly weather conditions.
Residents staying in the area amassed food, water and gas, while others heading out of the storm’s path boarded up windows and doors of their homes and businesses.
More than 120,000 people have lost power in the Corpus Christi area as a result of Hurricane Harvey so far.
The severity of the storm could be gauged from the fact that airlines canceled flights, schools were closed down while concerts and other planned events in Houston and coastal cities were postponed.
The hurricane’s effects are expected to linger for days, with heavy rainfall through next week estimated to be as high as 40 inches in some areas.
— KIII 3 News (@kiii3news) August 26, 2017
The National Weather Service warned Harvey could bring a potentially devastating storm surge, heavy rainfall and wind hazards to the Texas’ coast.
As of Friday, governors had declared states of emergencies for 30 counties in Texas and statewide for Louisiana.
Texas officials announced mandatory evacuations for all seven counties on the coast: Calhoun County, San Patricio County, Refugio County, Brazoria County, Jackson County, Victoria County and Matagorda County. In four of those countries, officials ordered their entire county to evacuate and warned those who chose to stay behind that their rescue could not be guaranteed.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long urged people in the path of the storm to heed warnings and to take evacuation orders seriously.
On the other hand, President Trump signed a disaster proclamation for the state, which will free up federal aid for the worst-affected areas.
At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
The White House said Mr Trump is likely to visit Texas early next week.