Hurricane Harvey is pictured off the coast of Texas, U.S. from aboard the International Space Station in this 25 August 2017 NASA handout photo. Photo: NASA / REUTERS

By Brian Thevenot
25 August 2017

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Reuters) – Hurricane Harvey moved closer to the Texas coast on Friday and residents were warned to take shelter from 125 mile-per-hour winds and 12-foot ocean surges when the most powerful storm in over a decade slams the mainland United States.

Harvey strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was expected to hit land near Corpus Christi, Texas, around 9 p.m. CDT (0200 GMT) then stall and dump over three feet of rain in areas of the Texas coast and parts of Louisiana as it lingers for days.

“We may be looking at unprecedented and major-to-record flooding,” said forecaster John Tharp of Weather Decision Technologies, adding that flood warnings were in effect for Louisiana and northern Mexico.

The storm stranded about 20,000 passengers on three cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico. Two were rerouted to New Orleans and a third will remain in Cozumel, Mexico, after the Galveston, Texas, port closed on Friday.

Gasoline stations in the south Texas coast were running out of fuel as thousands of residents fled the region. U.S. gasoline prices spiked as the storm shut down 22 percent, or 377,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Gulf of Mexico oil production and halted 4.4 percent of U.S. refinery output, according to the U.S. government. [more]

Hurricane Harvey upgraded to Category 4, thousands in Texas flee



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