What We Know About Hurricane Harvey, The Most Powerful Storm In A Decade

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On Friday night, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm, wreaking havoc on coastal communities and then making its way further inland toward Houston. I've collected information about what we know so far about Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful to hit the continental U.S. in a decade.

In the lead up to Harvey's landfall on Friday night, federal disaster authorities warned the public that the hurricane was a serious threat to Gulf Coast communities. According to meteorological predications, the hurricane had the "highest potential to kill the most amount of people and cause the most amount of damage," Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said prior to Harvey's landfall, according to CNN.

Throughout the course of the day on Saturday, media reports continued to trickle in from those still on the ground in Texas. A CBS affiliate based out of Houston posted a video on Twitter that showed the wreckage Harvey caused in Sienna Plantation, a neighborhood in a small city outside of Houston. The video portrayed an eerily quiet suburban street lined with large homes. Fallen trees had collapsed on several of those residences. A person stood in the street surveying the damage.

According to a USA Today journalist, the National Guard has arrived on the Gulf Coast to aid the disaster relief efforts.

How Strong Is Harvey Now?

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As of 2 p.m. ET, Hurricane Harvey had been downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of up to 70 m.p.h., according to CNN. When Harvey initially made landfall on Friday night, its winds were up to 130 m.p.h. By Saturday morning, the storm had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 80 m.p.h.

What Areas Will Harvey Affect?

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Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast and quickly made its way toward Houston and the rest of Harris County. According to ABC News, meteorologists expect Harvey to remain over Southeast Texas through the weekend.

How Much Damage Has Harvey Caused?

According to news reports, Harvey caused significant damage along the Texas Gulf Coast. Several outlets reportedthat  roofs having been ripped off houses and streets swallowed up by flood waters.

"There's been widespread devastation," said Charles Wax, the mayor of Rockport, a community hit particularly hard by Harvey. "We've already taken a severe blow from the storm, but we're anticipating another one when the flooding comes," he told CNN.

Around 4 p.m. EST, one death was reported in Rockport, Texas. The person was killed during a fire, officials said.

How Long Will Harvey Last?

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According to CNN, the National Weather Service has said that it expects Harvey to continue at tropical-storm strength through Monday. The clean-up post-Harvey, however, could take many days, as the storm will bring heavy flooding into the Southeast Texas region.

How Are Officials Responding?

Texas officials such as Gov. Greg Abbott warned Gulf Coast residents about the grave dangers Harvey poses. "This hurricane is going to prove more dangerous than many other hurricanes," Abbott said, according to NBC News. President Donald Trump also chimed in from Camp David. “We are leaving nothing to chance,” he tweeted. “City, State and Federal Govs. working great together!”

How Can You Help?

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If you'd like to volunteer your time or donate money, please contact the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, both of which will be conducting disaster relief on the Gulf Coast. The Texas SPCA is also taking donations to aid its care for pets stranded by Harvey. According to one local Texas newspaper, the Texas SPCA shelter is prepared to take in up to 300 pets.