Hurricane Harvey smashed into the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday night and Saturday morning after being elevated to Category 4 status, wiping out buildings with 130 miles per hour (209 kilometers per hour) winds and a 12-foot storm surge.
At least one person died in Rockport, Texas during the storm when their house caught fire, according to a county officials interviewed by CNN.
According to the Associated Press, emergency crews teams were not able to deploy throughout the region due to high winds and whiteout conditions on roads, so the tally may change.
According to ABC News, the Category 4 status was fortunately short-lived. After making landfall at around 10:00pm local time, Harvey was downgraded to a Category 3 storm by three hours later and a Category 2 by four hours later. By morning, it was downgraded to a Category 1.
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center warned Harvey could remain at tropical storm conditions as long as Wednesday, while the Houston branch of the National Weather Service noted all of southeast Texas remains under flash flood warning until Tuesday evening. The city of Victoria took as much as 16 inches of rain, per the New York Times, while totals of 40 to (on the extreme end) 60 inches of rain by the end of the storm remain possible.
Massive damage was reported throughout areas of Texas near landfall, including Corpus Christi and Rockport-Fulton. According to the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Coast Guard vessels responded to distress calls in the area while “many homes and businesses have been destroyed and some residents had to be rescued by emergency crews, who are still trying to reach some areas of these communities.”
“We know there is widespread devastation,” Rockport Mayor CJ Wax told the Weather Channel. “I think it’s safe to say we took a Cat. 4 (hurricane) right on the nose, and we’d appreciate everyone’s prayers.”
Some 250,000-plus people in the area remain without electricity due to storm damage, per the New York Times. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency, committing federal authorities to respond.
This is a breaking news story and may be updated as more information becomes available.
Update August 26th, 3:44pm: One person was confirmed dead in Rockport, Texas as a result of the hurricane.