Hurricane Harvey devastates southern Texas, Louisiana

The National Hurricane Center predicts Harvey will move northeast from Louisiana. Photo credit: 

Tropical Storm Harvey whipped itself  into a Category 4 hurricane and made landfall in Rockport, Texas August 25, breaking a record no one is cheering about.

Harvey dumped more rain in a single storm in the U.S. since keeping track of weather events began. Houston, fourth largest city in the country, saw its streets turn into rivers of water and sewage after a record 51 inches (equivalent to over one trillion gallons) of torrential rain pounded the Texas coast and Houston for four days.  On Wednesday, August 30, the sun finally came out.

Nearly 40 people have died as a result of Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm—a number that will likely rise as flood waters recede. More than 35,000 people are sleeping in shelters. Another 300,000 are without electricity, with many trapped in their homes. In many places, waters reached as high as the second floor of homes and office buildings. The city is at a virtual standstill as it waits for waters to recede.

President Donald Trump went to Corpus Christi on Tuesday, saying Hurricane Harvey was expected to be “the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.” He pledged to work with Congress to provide immediate federal relief to the flood-ravaged areas. He also thanked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for keeping the White House posted before the hurricane made landfall. Financial forecasts put damages in the billions.

After wreaking havoc on Houston, Harvey returned to sea, turned and made landfall again in Louisiana, still recovering from the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought with it in late August, 2005. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, the historic hurricane’s remnants are expected to affect the Hudson Valley region over Labor Day weekend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already sent hundreds of National Guard members to Houston to assist in recovery efforts. County Executive Ed Day will meet with the media on this morning, August 31, to lay out plans on how Rockland can help to support efforts to help those affected.

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