Hurricane Harvey hits Texas, 211,000 customers without power on the Texas Gulf Coast
Washington, August 26: Hurricane Harvey hit South Texas head-on late Friday, with the Category 4 storm unleashing torrential rain and blasing winds.
The powerful eye wall of Harvey reached land by 11 p.m. ET between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas, with winds of 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center said, according to CNN reports.
Harvey made a second landfall on the northeastern shore of copano bay. Forecasters said it would be the first major hurricane to hit Texas in nine years.
More than 211,000 customers are currently without power on the Texas Gulf Coast, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Meanwhile, to speed up federal aid to the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey, US President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation declaring a disaster in Texas as the hurricane bears down on the Gulf Coast.
"At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!" Trump tweeted yesterday from the Camp David presidential retreat, where he was spending the weekend.
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
Residents in Houston were preparing for the natural disaster that is expected to bring multiple hazards including rainfall and storm as tropical storm Harvey intensified into a hurricane.
With the storm gaining strength with every passing hour, various important events scheduled to take place here this weekend have been postponed. Indo American Chamber of Greater Houston (IACCGH) Gala has also been postponed to September 30 in view of the potential harm posed by Harvey.
As a precautionary measure, schools and universities in Houston and nearby areas have cancelled classes as Harvey continues to gain strength, prior to a projected landfall today at the Texas Gulf Coast.
School districts across Houston have also cancelled extra-curricular activities scheduled for today and this weekend. The University of Houston-- including its Katy and Sugar Land campuses -- will cancel all classes and programming after 1 pm today, according to an emergency alert from the university, said spokeswoman Shawn Lindsey.
While it has been nine years since Texas last saw a hurricane, the state is no stranger to devastating flooding from tropical systems.
In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison was a multi billion- dollar disaster for the state, specifically Houston.
A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with a storm surge watch stretching north to High Island, on Galveston Bay.
Harvey could be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 when hurricane Ike smashed the coast near Galveston.