Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a Tropical storm Saturday afternoon as it slowly moved its way across south Texas. The now category 1 storm is still bringing heavy rain to the area.
The hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane at about 9:45 p.m. Friday, packing 130 m.p.h. Winds — making it one of the worst to hit the country in more than a decade.
“There’s been widespread devastation,” Rockport Mayor Charles Wax told CNN as his town in South Texas became one of the worst hit areas. The then-Category 4 storm brought high winds and heavy rains to the area. The city still faces flooding over the next few days.
About 50 to 60 percent of residents decided to stay in Rockport through the storm, despite the life-threatening storm surges, officials told CNN. No deaths were immediately confirmed in the hours after Harvey’s arrival, but officials noted emergency crews couldn’t get out in many places due to high winds.
President Trump signed a disaster proclamation, allocating federal funds for state and local relief efforts. Hetweeted Saturday morning that he was watching the storm closely.
Thought the storm has been downgraded, there are still fears of major flooding. Already more than 250,000 customers are without electricity as of Saturday afternoon a figure that was likely to increase.
Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, and prone to heavy flooding, is also keeping a close watch as it prepares for the storm’s landfall.
Louisiana also is expected to get doused, and New Orleans in particular is bracing for flooding. The city could get 10 inches of rain starting Sunday, reports CNN.
According to the Associated Press, Harvey came is the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961’s Hurricane Carla, Carla was the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.