As Hurricane Harvey grows in strength to a Category 2 storm and approaches Texas, local officials have a message to those considering riding out the storm: “Get out now.”
The first major hurricane to hit Texas in nearly nine years, labeled by forecasters as a “life-threatening storm,” could bring up to three feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges.
Recent data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated #Harvey has strengthened with estimated 100 mph and is now a Category 2 storm.
“If it’s 10 feet of water, there’s a good chance you will lose electricity,” Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. “So you’ll be on the Island with no [air-conditioning], no water, no electricity. We recommend in the strongest terms that you need to get out now or get to higher ground.”
Landfall was predicted for late Friday or early Saturday between Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile stretch of coastline about 70 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.
Harvey has been fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters.
To put the hurricane’s strength in perspective, superstorm Sandy, which wasn’t formally called a major hurricane and still devastated New York and New Jersey in 2012, didn’t have the high winds like Hurricane Harvey and lost tropical status by the time it hit land.