by Cheryl Piccio – ABS CBN News
HOUSTON, TX — Tropical storm Harvey, a storm that last weekend seemed to dissipate as it crossed the Caribbean sea, regained intensity Wednesday and is rapidly strengthening. The National Hurricane Center said on late Thursday morning that it is now forecast to become a major category-3 hurricane when it hits the middle Texas coast, Harvey is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday in Corpus Christi, Texas, then stall over the state, with projections of heavy rain continuing until Tuesday night.
Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including extremely heavy rainfall, high storm surges, and hurricane wind conditions to portions of the Texas coast beginning Friday.
Texans are filling sandbags, boarding up windows, and stocking up on food and water.
Rainfall amounts increase when a storm moves at a slower speed. Earlier this week, the national hurricane center warned that Harvey is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of prolonged heavy rain and flooding into early next week.
12 to 20 inches of rain are expected, with isolated instances reaching 30 inches.
“Ang mga bookings namin nag-cancel na. Kasi mahirap daw mag -party ng ganito ang sitwasyon,” said Dindo Borbon, a business owner. “Yung mga costumers naming na kakain ditto hindi na sila makakalabas ng bahay ksai baka flooded sa labas. At isa pa pag-nag brown out, marami kaming stock na pini-pare naming baka masira.”
“Mataas naman yung lugar namin pero natatakot kami sa mga costumers natin baka hindi makarating dahil mababa at lugar nila at ma-stranded sila sa pag-punta dito,” said Caloy Chavez.
Texas is no stranger to devastating flooding from tropical systems.
In 2001, tropical storm Allison was a multibillion-dollar disaster for the state, dropping more than 30 inches of rain across portions of Houston.
“Houston is predicting about 20 inches of rain to come in. A lot of flooding in the area, gas lines have been extremely long, some gas stations have been reporting that they are out of gas,” said Natalia Limas. “The grocery store is too, there seems to be no water in the area. They’re running out of batteries. So my best advice is to just go out there and get stocked as much as you can.”
Harvey will be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008, when hurricane Ike smashed the coast near Galveston.
It was the third costliest storm in US history, the storm killed nearly 50 people and caused 30 billion dollars in destruction. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster Wednesday in 30 counties along the Gulf of Mexico — allowing agencies to “quickly deploy resources for the inevitable emergency response.