17:36 GMT13 April 2021
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    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)
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    Striking fear in the hearts of many, Hurricane Harvey, scheduled to make landfall Friday, has left residents along Texas' coastline scrambling as many board up their homes and prepare to hightail it out of the region.

    ​Harvey is expected to become a Category 3 storm with winds of at least 111 mph as it hits the middle of the Texas coast. However, The Weather Channel says it has the potential of reaching a low Category 4 with the help of the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters.

    ​"Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge and possible hurricane conditions to portions of the Texas coast on Friday," the National Weather Service said.

    Marked a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds on Thursday, the slowly moving storm is expected to drop up to 15 inches of rain on the cost of the Lone Star State. Up to 30 inches, a record for the area, are possible in some places, according to the weather service.

    "The system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rain and flooding across portions of Texas, southwest Louisiana and northeastern Mexico into early next week," the National Hurricane Center warned.

    ​If the hurricane touches down during high tide, officials speculate parts of the coast could be hit with two to eight feet of flooding, with a possible six to 12 feet between Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent, Texas.

    ​Though Texas isn't a stranger to flooding from tropical storm systems, Harvey may wreak damage the likes of which the state hasn't seen since Hurricane Ike came ashore in 2008. Ike, which touched down as a Category 2 hurricane, killed 21 people and triggered massive flooding.

    ​Keeping the severity of the situation in mind, residents have raided grocery stores and begun to board up local establishments.

    ​As of Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency for 30 counties ahead of Harvey's due date. Currently Aransas Pass, Brazoria County and Calhoun County are under mandatory evacuation, according to local Houston station ABC 13. Bolivar Peninsula, Brazoria County and Galveston's West End have been given voluntary evacuation status.

    Preparing for the worst, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward has also declared a state of emergency for the Bayou State as Harvey is expected to hit southwest Louisiana with major flooding. 

    ​Harvey is developing into a potential test of US President Donald Trump's ability to deal with a crisis. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says POTUS is carefully watching the situation.

    ​"It's certainly something [Trump] is very aware of and will keep a very watchful eye on," Sanders said at her first press briefing in three weeks. "He stands ready to provide resources if needed."

    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)


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