300,000 People Left without Power as Hurricane Harvey Is Downgraded to a Tropical Storm
Hurricane Harvey has caused terrible wreckage after hitting landfall in a coastal town in Texas on Friday night
Hurricane Harvey has caused terrible wreckage after hitting landfall in Texas on Friday night.
Harvey slammed into the town of Rockport as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph. Buildings were ripped apart and firefighters were unable to respond to victims in the hours after the storm traveled through the town, according to the latest reports from the Weather Channel.
At least 10 people sustained injuries when the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed during the storm in the Aransas Bay town, KTRK-TV reported.
“We know there is widespread devastation,” Rockport Mayor CJ Wax said during a Saturday morning interview with The Weather Channel. “I think it’s safe to say we took a Cat. 4 (hurricane) right on the nose, and we’d appreciate everyone’s prayers.” The town of Rockport has about 100,000 residents.
More than 300,000 people are now without power, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas company’s Twitter account.
After Harvey hit into Rockport, a massive fire broke out in one of the country’s most popular barbecue restaurants, Franklin Barbecue, CBS Austin reported.
A wind-blown ember from the fire pit ignited combustible materials, the Austin Fire Department said, CBS Austin reported. The fire was contained to the pit area, and the rest of the eatery was saved. No one was injured in the fire. Damages are estimated at $350,000. It is unclear if the fire was caused by the weather.
President Donald Trump issued a disaster proclamation on Friday as the hurricane was about to make landfall. He vowed to give the “full force” of the federal government to emergency aid in Texas.
“At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!” Trump tweeted on Friday night.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted about Trump’s proclamation, writing that “Pres. Trump granted my request for a disaster declaration allowing FEMA to swiftly help Texans rebuild their lives from #hurricaineharvey.”
The storm ravaged the Southeastern town, causing extensive damage to many buildings and businesses.
Approximately 128 people were evacuated from a Fairfield Inn in Rockport after the hotel was hit by the strong hurricane winds, according to a National Weather Service report, the Weather Channel reported.
The roof of Rockport High School was also damaged, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.
“A part of the roof has caved in, but the reports that buildings have disappeared don’t appear to be accurate,” said Gillian Cox, the department’s public information officer.
The volunteer fire department in Rockport is not expected to begin any damage assessment until after all rescues are completed. Those rescue efforts are expected to take place as soon as the winds fall below 45 miles per hour, Cox said.
Emmy Award Winning veteran storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski, tweeted photos of collapsed buildings, writing, “Help needed ASAP.”
“Emergency broadcast: The entire area Holiday Park Beach,Fulton, Rockport, apartment buildings have collapsed. Help needed ASAP @NWSCorpus,” wrote Piotrowski.
The National Weather Service also warned that although the storm has begun to weaken,”life threatening-hazards will continue from heavy rainfall over much of Southeastern Texas.”
By late Saturday morning, the storm has weakened to a Category 1 storm, with winds at about 75 mph and centered 25 miles west of Victoria, Texas, ABC News reported.
The system was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon