Hurricane Harvey made landfall around 11:00pm EDT on August 25, 2017 between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas as a category 4. Harvey is the strongest hurricane to impact Texas since 1961 and the first category 4 storm to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)
Rockport and Fulton were hardest by the storm as they took a direct hit from Harvey’s eyewall. Many structures, residences, and business in and near the Rockport and Fulton area were damaged or destroyed, as roofs were blown off and walls collapsed. Electricity and water services were lost. The city’s infrastructure was crippled. Significant structural damage also occurred in numerous other coastal town including Port Lavaca, Copano Village, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas and Ingleside. You can see more damage photos in the Photos section. Tens of thousands of South Texas residents and businesses lost power for days, with the hardest hit areas likely losing power for several weeks. Although there was a significant number of trees, fences and power poles down or damaged in the Corpus Christi Metropolitan area, structural damage was much more isolated.
The storm surge from Harvey brought dramatically increased water and tide levels over the Texas Coast. The highest maximum storm tides were observed at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, where the storm surge levels were more than 12 feet above ground level. Storm surge in Port Lavaca was also more than 10 feet and at least 6 feet in Port Aransas. Elsewhere across South Texas, storm tide levels were from near 3 to 6 feet above ground level at Seadrift, Port O’Connor, Holiday Beach, Copano Bay, Port Aransas, and Bob Hall Pier.
Besides wind and storm surge, hurricanes and tropical storms are notorious for producing torrential rainfall and flash flooding. Unfortunately, Harvey was unique. Instead of moving inland and farther away from the coast, Harvey stalled over South and Southeast Texas for days, producing catastrophic devastating and deadly flash and river flooding. Southeast Texas took the brunt of the heavy rainfall, with some areas receiving more than 40 inches of rain in less than 48 hours! Cedar Bayou in Houston received a storm total of 51.88 inches of rainfall which is a new North American record. However, South Texas residents were not spared from this impact from Harvey, as heavy rainfall and flash flooding were observed over the eastern portions of the area.
After causing deadly and damaging winds and floods to South Texas, and catastrophic, historical, devastating, and life-threatening flooding over Southeast Texas, Harvey finally made its final landfall near Cameron, Louisiana during the overnight hours on Wednesday August 30th. More heavy rainfall and flooding occurred over the Northern Gulf States on its final landfall. South Texas residents who experienced Harvey will long remember the storm and, unfortunately many other residents will take a long time to recover from this historic and unusual tropical system.