Harvey 2017: What conditions can residents expect with a Category 3 hurricane?



A portion of Harvey Cedars, on the bay side of Long Beach Island on the New Jersey shore, is under water, October 30, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy blew across the New Jersey barrier islands. This portion of the road is in Harvey Cedar. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

Hurricane Harvey is forecast to make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane, and as residents prepare, many are wondering what conditions will be like once the storm hits.

“This is a very huge deal,” said Douglas Voglesang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi. “This could be very damaging, particularly if you’re not leaving; you’re putting yourself in harm’s way.”

Category 3 storms are considered major hurricanes according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with sustained winds ranging between 111 to 129 miles per hour.


According to the National Weather Service website, residents who stay to ride out the storm should expect that well-built framed homes may receive damage with possible removal of roof decking or shingles. Trees may snap or uproot, resulting in property damage, debris and road blockages. Water and electricity could be unavailable to residents anywhere from days to weeks after the storm.

Vogelsang noted that storm surge could range from 6 to 12 feet as the storm moves inland, but copious amounts of rain will inundate the area with between 15 to 20 inches of rain with isolated amounts of nearly 30 inches.

“People who are not going to evacuate, please make sure your house is boarded up, that you have plenty of supplies and flashlights because we don’t know if there will be electricity,” Corpus Christi Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Delgado said. “Have nonperishable foods; if you have medication make sure you have plenty of it.

For comparison, Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 storm when it made landfall in Louisiana in 2005 and Hurricane Ike, which made landfall in Galveston in 2008, was a Category 2.

“The end result will be flooding likely not seen for a long time. The storm surge has potential to do damage along the coast line and maybe even in Flour Bluff,” Vogelsang said.


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