Full scope of damage is unknown as Harvey spins deeper inland;
TEXAS: Harvey spun deeper into Texas and unloaded extraordinary amounts of rain Saturday after the once-fearsome hurricane crashed into vulnerable homes and businesses along the coastline.
Throughout the region between Corpus Christi and Houston, many people feared that toll was only the beginning. In the island community of Port Aransas, officials were unable to fully survey the town because of “massive” damage.
Harvey’s relentless wind tore the metal sides off the high school gym and twisted the steel door frame of its auditorium.
About 300,000 customers were without power statewide. and it would probably be several days before electricity is restored.
In Houston, authorities were pleading with people not to leave their homes as a flood emergency was declared.
The Corpus Christi port was closed with extensive damage. Because the city is the third-largest petrochemical port in the nation, the agency will be on the lookout for spills.
Harvey weakened to a tropical storm by midday Saturday. At 10 p.m., its maximum sustained winds had fallen to about 40 mph (64 kph), the National Hurricane Center said. But the storm was moving at just 1 mph (1.6) kph as it dumped torrential rain over an area that included Houston.
In Corpus Christi, the major city closest to the storm’s center, wind whipped palm trees and stinging sheets of horizontal rain slapped against hotels and office buildings along the seawall as the storm made landfall.
Daybreak revealed downed lamp posts and tree limbs and roof tiles torn off buildings. Along Interstate 45 leaving Galveston, the rain was so intense that drivers stopped under bridges because they could not see in front of them.
South of the city, about 4,500 inmates were evacuated from three state prisons in Brazoria County because the nearby Brazos River was rising.
The turbulent weather extended into southern Louisiana, where motorists were cautioned about the potential for high water, road hazards, high winds and tornadoes.
Harvey came ashore as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961′s Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.
The last Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. was Hurricane Charley in August 2004 in Florida.