24 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey: Texas braces for category-three storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico.Image copyright

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Hurricane Harvey will bring with it high winds and floods

Texas is bracing itself for Hurricane Harvey – the worst storm to hit the US mainland in 12 years.

The category three storm, currently in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to make landfall along the state’s central coast on Friday night.

The National Hurricane Center warned that torrential rain and storm surges could bring life-threatening flooding to Houston and surrounding area.

The storm will also strike at the heart of Texas’s oil refining industry.

Energy companies have been evacuating staff from offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, while on land Texan oil refineries are shutting down in preparation for the storm.

As a result, US fuel prices have reached a three week-high.

Meanwhile, communities in the projected path of the storm are also preparing for its arrival.

Joe McComb, mayor of coastal town Corpus Christi, urged people to take the warnings seriously and evacuate low lying areas.

“I hope people will listen to forecasters when they say ‘beware of flash floods,” he said. “Flash floods can come quickly, and they can be deadly.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, the wind speed is currently almost 85mph (140km/h) – although gusts are even stronger.

Hurricane Harvey is also continuing to gain strength.

A category three storm can have winds as high as 129mph.

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