Energy

Hurricane Harvey Downgraded To A Tropical Storm As Residents Take Shelter

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Hurricane Harvey was downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm Saturday after slamming into the southeastern part of Texas and bringing widespread damage and flooding.

The storm remained a hurricane after it hit land Friday night, and conditions, which include possible tornadoes in the areas, have made it difficult for authorities to assess the damage or the number of people expected to take cover. People in the Corpus Christi area were advised to boil water before drinking.

Southern Texas was deluged with rain. The National Hurricane Center told reporters that a rain gauge near one of the small cities in the hurricane’s path recorded more than 16 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. No deaths have yet been reported.

Charles Wax, the mayor of Rockport, which is directly in the past of the hurricane’s Category 4 winds, told reporters that Hurricane Harvey carved out a wide swath of damage throughout Texas. He added that authorities are not yet certain if any lives have been lost.

“Homes and business completely destroyed, lives disrupted,” Wax said. “We do not know if there is any loss of life, but that may be because we haven’t been able to assess.”

“It’s pretty dramatic,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters Saturday. “We don’t have exact numbers right now because the devastation is happening fairly quickly.”

He said 30 state agencies were represented in an emergency operations center to ensure plans were in place to deal with water rescues and road closures. President Donald Trump signed a emergency declaration Friday night, opening up federal funds for local and regional rescue and cleanup efforts.

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