Energy

HURRICANE WATCH: Harvey Bares Down On Louisiana After Relentlessly Pummeling Houston

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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Chris White Tech Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Daily Caller News Foundation will be issuing updates on Hurricane Harvey as they occur.

Friday, 12:54 p.m. EST: Local officials said Friday that about 46 deaths can be chalked up to Tropical Storm Harvey, and they argued that the death toll could go up once water begins receding.

Harvey has effected the price of gas as well. Fuel prices have inched up since the storm made landfall on Aug. 26 — prices $2.52 Friday morning, up from $2.45 the day before, according to Triple AAA motor club.

More than 42,000 people were housed overnight at Red Cross shelters in Texas, a spokeswoman for Red Cross told CNN Friday. She said the charity would be in emergency funding mode until Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, 9:07 a.m. EST: Forecasters said Wednesday morning that Tropical Storm Harvey is moving eastward away from Houston, Texas and making its way toward Louisiana.

Harvey, which began as a Category 4 hurricane but weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall, slammed into  the tiny town of Cameron, La., after moving back into the Gulf of Mexico. The storm brought with it enormous amounts of flooding and a death toll that had reached at least 22 people.

Forecasters with the the National Weather Service (NWS) told reporter that the danger is far from over, even as the storm continues losing strength.

“Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding will continue in and around Houston eastward into southwest Louisiana for the rest of the week,” NWS said early Wednesday morning. The service also warned that “expected heavy rains spreading northeastward from Louisiana into western Kentucky may also lead to flash flooding.”

Monday, 2:50 p.m. EST: Texas officials said Monday afternoon that eight people have died in the wake of tropical storm Harvey.

Six people died in Harris County in Houston; one person in the small city of Rockport, and another person was found dead in La Marque, near Galveston. Authorities expect the toll to rise throughout the next several days as rescue efforts continue apace.

About 2,000 people have been rescued thus far. The full thrust of Harvey’s destruction remains unclear in the southeastern parts of Texas and Louisiana. Officials are also warning that more than 30,000 people could be forced from their homes due to sheets of rain the storm is dumping on the state.

Monday, 11:05 a.m. EST: Houston officials claimed Monday morning that rescue workers have rescued 2,000 people hold up in buildings and homes battered by tropical storm Harvey.

“To date, we’ve completed the rescue of 2,000 Houstonians and members of our community,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters Monday. That number is expected to rise as forecasters believe Harvey will continue to dump torrents of rain on Houston over the course of a week.

Monday, 8:34 a.m. EST: Officials are predicting tens of thousands of people will scurry for makeshift shelters in Houston and outer-lying areas due to fallout from tropical storm Harvey.

William “Brock” Long, admistrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. told reporters that the agency expects 30,000 people to be housed in shelters as emergency crew continue piecing together the extent of the damage.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security secretary, told reporters Monday morning.

Despite the damage and the flooding, there have still been only five reported deaths directly related to Harvey.

Sunday, 7:33 p.m. EST: Evacuating Houston before tropical storm Harvey made landfall would have been a “logistical nightmare,” Houston Sylvester Turner told reporters Sunday.

The city’s mayor was responding to media reports asking why Houston did not orchestrate a city-wide evacuation notice. The city has a population of more than 2 million people, and Houston has very narrow roads leading into and out of the city.

“We want to get to people as soon as possible,” Turner said, referring to the massive rescue effort currently underway in southeastern Texas. Officials have rescued more than 1,000 people since Saturday morning, when tropical storm first made landfall. Harvey began as a Category 4 hurricane but was soon downgraded to a tropical storm.

Sunday, 3:20 p.m. EST: Hurricane Harvey has slowed down considerably but will likely continue to pound southeastern Texas with torrential rain for the next 4 to 5 days, officials warned Sunday afternoon.

The tropical storm, which began as a Category 4 hurricane, has stalled but warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico is giving the tropical depression new life and will continue to dump rain on Texas through the coming week and probably cause “catastrophic” flooding, forecasters said. “It’s going to last four to five days,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Sunday, 12:41 p.m. EST: More than 1,000 people were rescued Sunday morning in southeast Texas after hurricane Harvey blasted a path across the state, authorities said.

But many residents are still hold up in their houses. Citizen stranded in their homes told reporters they hoped for help, but have not been able to contact rescue workers.

“We are still stranded in our home with little kids and the water keeps rising,” a Houston resident told CNN on Sunday morning. “We have called already to several numbers but no luck. We have (tried) but their lines are all busy or they don’t answer.”

Officials from states such as Florida, Virginia and New York are sending emergency workers to Texas. “After Superstorm Sandy, so many cities stepped up to help our people. We’ll do all we can to help those affected by this storm,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

Sunday, 9:02 a.m. EST: Five people were reported dead and several wounded Sunday morning as hurricane Harvey makes its slow crawl from a Category 4 to a tropical storm.

The storm, which has slowed dramatically since making landfall, is expected to continue pounding the region with torrential rain and flooding throughout the week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Several counties in southeast Texas, including parts of low-lying areas like Houston, have reported receiving more than 20 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

Saturday, 4:37 p.m. EST: Officials confirmed Saturday that Hurricane Harvey is responsible for at least one death in a small city located on the southeast section of Texas.

Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax confirmed one fatality and said officials expect to discover more victims as search and rescue operations in Texas continue to ramp up. The storm remained a hurricane shortly after it made landfall Friday night, and downed power lines and heavy winds have made it difficult for authorities to assess the damage or the number of people expected to take cover.

“We have not been able to completely assess damage with current winds at 90 plus,” Wax told reporters. “Widespread devastation unknown loss of life.”

Images of downed trees and collapsed businesses began popping up on social media after the storm arrived, bringing with it 130 mph winds. Harvey is the first Category 4 storm to pound the U.S. since Hurricane Charley. Some argue the storm is the biggest one to pound the eastern coast since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

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. More than 200,000 Texans are without electricity.

The storm came with power and vigor, but Harvey lost some of its punch Saturday morning. It still maintained hurricane-force winds of 80 mph until it was officially downgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 70 mph. Citizens must still contend with torrential rain and flooding.

The area around Rockport, for instance, could see up to 60 inches of rain throughout the week. “Please take the flooding threat seriously,” the National Weather Service tweeted Saturday. “Remember, this is a multiday event … marathon not a sprint.”

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