Aug. 29 (UPI) — The National Hurricane Center said heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey will worsen flooding in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana on Tuesday.
In its 4 a.m. update, the NHC said the center of the storm was located in the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles east-southeast of Port O’Connor, Texas, and 135 miles south-southwest of Port Arthur. Harvey has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving east at a speed of 3 mph.
Harvey is expected to continue moving east before turning northeast Tuesday. The storm will then move slowly until making a north-northeast turn on Wednesday. The NHC said there should be little change in Harvey’s strength until at least Thursday.
“Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana,” the NHC said in a statement. “The center of Harvey is expected to be just offshore of the middle and upper coasts of Texas through tonight, then move inland over the northwestern Gulf coast on Wednesday.”
A tropical storm warning is in effect from Mesquite Bay, Texas, east to Intracoastal City, La. A storm surge watch is in effect from Port Bolivar, Texas, to Morgan City, La. If Harvey’s wind speeds drop below 40 mph, it becomes a tropical depression.
Harvey is expected to generate 7 to 13 inches of rain through Friday over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana. In the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area, and in other parts of the upper Texas coast, rainfall accumulations could reach 50 inches through Friday.
South-central Louisiana should see from 5 inches to 15 inches of rain fall through Friday, and southeast
Louisiana and coastal Mississippi and Alabama should see from 5 inches to 10 inches of rain.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward from Harvey’s center up to 175 miles, primarily over water to the east and northeast, forecasters said.
Harvey weakened into a tropical storm as it moved inland Saturday, but the NHC said it was becoming an “extremely serious flooding event.” Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane. By 6 a.m. Saturday, it had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with 90-mph winds. By midday, it was reclassified as a tropical storm.
Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in October 2005. It was also the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas since Ike in 2008.
The NHC is also watching Potential Tropical Cyclone 10, which packs maximum wind speeds of 40 mph and is 65 miles southwest of Wilmington, N.C. The storm system is moving northeast at a speed of 12 mph.
Tropical storm warnings and watches are in in effect for coastal parts of South Carolina and North Carolina.
The cyclone, which could cause some flooding in coastal areas, is expected to move along the North Carolina coast before moving out to sea Tuesday night.
“The disturbance is not expected to change much in strength today and the chances for the system to become a tropical cyclone appear to be decreasing,” the NHC said in a statement. “The system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts of 5 inches along northeastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia coasts into the Delmarva through Wednesday.”