Meteorologists have upgraded Hurricane Harvey to a Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds and expect that it will grow to a Category 3 hurricane before landfall tonight or tomorrow.
If it does continue to strengthen, this will be the most powerful storm in almost 12 years. Hurricane Wilma was the last Category 3 storm, which struck Florida in October 2005.
Even as it stands now, Hurricane Harvey is set to have a serious impact on Texas and Louisiana. Current predictions call for Harvey to make landfall by Saturday morning and then begin to weaken.
Unfortunately, those same predications say that Harvey might stall, staying over the Texas coast until next Wednesday or longer. This means that beyond the winds and the coastal storm surge, serious rainfall and flooding is to be expected for the next week.
Of course these are just predictions and the situation could change, but it pays to be prepared.
If you are in coastal Texas and are reading this, please listen to authorities and heed their warnings for evacuation. If you know someone in the area, urge them to leave and help them if possible.
After the storm is over, the cleanup will begin. State and local officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, and the Coast Guard, together with other government and nongovernmental organizations, will all have a role to play.
While there are many policy discussions regarding disaster response funds, the National Flood Insurance Program, and other disaster issues, now is the time to follow the plans that are in place, say a prayer for those in harm’s way, and think about how you might be able to help in the coming days.
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