Recovery from Hurricane Harvey will take 'years': US emergency agency chief
Hurricane Harvey left a trail of devastation on Saturday after the most powerful storm to hit the US mainland in 12 years made landfall in central Texas coast, destroying homes, severing power supplies and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee.
The head of of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said,''It will take cities and towns in the path of Hurricane Harvey years to recover from the devastation created by the monster storm.''
The National Hurricane Centre said Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor in Texas, the US state where roughly 17 per cent of America's crude oil output and nearly half of the country's refining capacity is located.
The storm, a Category 4 hurricane which was later downgraded to Category 1, had maximum sustained winds of 195 kmph. Resulting floodwaters were expected to reach 6 to 12 feet above ground level along the coast.
Harvey has impacted the Electric Reliability Council of Texas electric system, with 250,000 customers without power. It is the most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland since 2005. Its effects could linger for days, with heavy rainfall through next week estimated to 40 inches in some areas.
Millions of residents along the south Texas coast saw hurricane-force winds that uprooted trees and power poles. They had frantically stocked up on food, water and gas, while others heading out of the storm's path boarded up windows and doors of their homes and businesses.
Airlines cancelled flights, schools were shuttered while concerts and other events in Houston and other coastal cities were postponed. Thousands of cruise ship customers waited offshore until their vessels were able to dock safely. At least 15,000 people aboard three Carnival Cruise Line ships scheduled to return to Galveston this weekend were delayed or detoured due to the hurricane.
Harvey is the first natural disaster faced by the the Donald Trump administration. Before the landfall, Trump signed a disaster proclamation for Texas, freeing up federal funds for assistance.
He tweeted that he had spoken with the governors of Texas and Louisiana and was "here to assist as needed".
A day before, oil and gas companies scrambled to prepare for Harvey, which developed so quickly in the Gulf of Mexico that many of them didn't have time to respond. Other major companies, including ExxonMobil and Anadarko, also began scaling back production. Oil analysts predict it could take more than three weeks for refineries in its path to resume normal operations.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)