After causing severe flooding in Houston and the surrounding region as a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey made a second landfall near Cameron, Louisiana — this time as a tropical storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, Harvey made its landfall roughly five miles west of Cameron early Wednesday. Although its effects are not expected to be as devastating as in Texas, forecasters are still predicting five to 10 inches of rainfall in western Louisiana, and Cameron is located in the southwestern corner of the state.
Harvey has already taken a terrible toll on Texas, where according to The Washington Post at least 22 people have been confirmed dead and thousands are homeless as a result of the storm-induced damages. In Cameron, which the Post described as a marshy port 20 miles east of Louisiana's border with Texas, the state's governor John Bel Edwards urged people to "prepare and pray" as Harvey redirected its attention away from Texas.
As a low-lying coastal region, southern Louisiana is facing a significant threat from Harvey's slow-moving trajectory. There is a storm surge warning in place on the coast from Holly Beach to Morgan City, which predicts that water levels will rise up to two to four more feet. In New Orleans, meanwhile, a flash flood warning has been implemented.
Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen told USA Today that Harvey's return to shore was "the end of the beginning.” Harvey is projected to produce a significant amount of rain over Louisiana before proceeding to Arkansas, Tennessee, and parts of Missouri, but it is also expected to weaken as it moves north. Nevertheless, Feltgen told USA Today that residents in multiple states in the region “are going to feel the impacts of the storm."
Houston has already borne the brunt of this projected impact. The city was inundated with over 50 inches of rain over a four-day period, and up to 30 percent of the county in which Houston is located was flooded as of Tuesday afternoon. According to the Post, the flooded area consists of approximately 444 square miles. The full extent of Harvey's damage may not be known until the flooding subsides; FEMA officials have said that recovery efforts could take years.
The Associated Press reported that at least 13,000 people have been rescued in Houston and surrounding areas since Harvey first made landfall, but this is likely to be a low estimate because not all individual rescues have been recorded. As Louisiana and other states prepare for Harvey's descent, Texas faces a long road of recovery ahead.