HARVEY Is To Hit Texas Soon, Severe Weather Is Expected For This Weekend

UPDATE: 1:10 P.M. Wednesday

The Harris County Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is monitoring tropical weather conditions related to Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico. The activation level has moved to Level 3, or "Increased Readiness."

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UPDATE: 11:25 a.m. Wednesday 

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Harvey has regenerated into a tropical depression – and a hurricane watch and a storm surge watch are both in effect in Texas from Port Mansfield all the way up to to San Luis Pass.

Officials say the time is now for people to complete their preparations.

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UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. Wednesday 

One concern is if Harvey’s soaking remnants system over the Texas after making landfall.

“This system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Texas, Southwestern Louisiana, and northeastern Mexico into early next week,” according to the NHC.

 “The hurricane hunter plane is in the area now and trying to find whether there are tropical storm force winds, but it looks like it is getting its act together,” NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said Wednesday.

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Harvey gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico and regenerated into a tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm could make landfall at some point along the coast this weekend. It could bringing heavy rains, strong winds and flooding not only to Houston, but to Gulf Coast cities ranging from Corpus Christi to New Orleans.

Here's the latest as of mid-day Wednesday:

--A Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch have been issued for Brazoria, Jackson, and Matagorda counties.

 --A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Liberty, Waller, and Wharton counties.

--A Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have been issued for Chambers, Galveston, and Harris counties.

Harvey is about 560 miles south-southeast of Galveston and about  540 miles south-southeast of Matagorda.

The system has 35-mph winds and is moving at about 9 mph.

Tropical Depression Harvey is expected to continue to strength into a tropical storm or hurricane in the next couple of days.

The primary impact from Harvey is expected to be heavy rainfall and flooding, but there will still be a threat for tropical storm to hurricane force winds and storm surge along the coast.

Here are the potential impacts:

FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible limited impacts across Southeast Texas.  Localized rainfall flooding may prompt a few evacuations. Rivers and tributaries may quickly rise with swifter currents. Small streams, creeks, canals, arroyos, and ditches may become swollen and overflow in spots.  Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in usually vulnerable spots. There may also be a few places where rapid ponding of water occurs at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures.

SURGE: Prepare for life-threatening surge having possible significant impacts across the whole Upper Texas Coast. Potential impacts include areas of inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by waves, with damage to several buildings, mainly near the coast. Sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads may weaken or wash out, especially in usually vulnerable low spots. There may be major beach erosion with heavy surf breaching dunes. Strong and numerous rip currents may cause moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Some small craft may break away from moorings, especially in unprotected anchorages. A locally hazardous surge may have some limited impact northern Galveston Bay.

TORNADOES: Conditions will be favorable for isolated tornadoes across much of Southeast Texas.

Rick Lovett

Rick Lovett

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