Two Years Ago Today: Harvey Makes Landfall
It’s been two years since Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic landfall. On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on San Jose Island, Texas. The storm’s slow-moving trek through the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico brought devastating impacts to the United States.
Harvey was unique in many ways. The storm initiated on August 12, 2017 as a cluster of thunderstorms, eventually, forming into a Tropical Storm on the 18th. After undergoing periods of weakening, it reemerged in the Gulf of Mexico and rapidly intensified into a Category 4 Major Hurricane. It made landfall along the outer islands of the central Texas coast. Winds were clocked as high as 132 miles per hour, leading to widespread destruction along the coastline. Harvey made a second landfall 3 hours later on the mainland of Texas coast, and within 12 hours weakened to a Tropical Storm. It then re-emerged over the open waters of the Gulf and re-strengthened into a tropical storm, making its third and final landfall on the western Louisiana coast.
Harvey’s landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on August 25th, 2017 was the first major hurricane to make landfall on the United States in nearly 12 years; ending what had been a remarkably rare streak of luck for lower 48.
But Harvey’s landfall proved to only be the beginning of a devastating series of consequences – most of which were brought on by Harvey’s torrential rainfall. On August 25th, the rain began in Houston and throughout southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. It wouldn’t stop for four days, shattering all sorts of records in the process. From August 25th through the 29th, Houston saw an astonishing 31.26 inches worth of rainfall. In nearby Nederland, Texas, 60.58 inches of rain fell, making it the wettest tropical cyclone ever recorded for both Texas and the United States.
The result of all that rain? Devastation. 68 people died from the storm in Texas, making it Texas’ deadliest tropical cyclone since 1919. More than 30,000 people were displaced by Harvey’s rain and wind. Harvey brought America’s 5th-largest metro area, Houston, to a near-standstill for weeks. Harvey produced an estimated 125 billion dollars worth of damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Katrina.
In April of 2018, the name Harvey was officially retired by the National Hurricane Center – a testament to the storm’s incredible strength. Today, WeatherNation remembers the power of this devastating storm.
Take a look back at the widespread impact of the infamous hurricane Harvey:
The impacts of Harvey will live on with those who endured the storm. Our deepest thoughts go out to those affected by this devastating storm.
On Saturday, August 24, 2019, Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, commemorated the two year anniversary of the storm in Fulton, Texas.
“In the two years since Hurricane Harvey, Texans have responded with strength and determination to restore the communities affected by the storm,” said Governor Abbott. “Today marks the next step in the recovery process as we continue to work together to rebuild these communities stronger and more resilient than ever. Texans continue to show that no earthly force can match the Texas spirit.”
At the event, Abbott delivered remarks at the groundbreaking of the new Fulton Pier and ceremonially signing into law Senate Bill 6 – a bill to addresses several recommendations from the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, including improvements to the state’s disaster response and recovery efforts as well as establishes a loan program to meet the financial needs of communities recovering from disaster.