8:10am Friday: Hurricane Harvey Strengthens Further

Category 3 Harvey Now Has 110 mph sustained winds. 

The 8:03am radar shows Harvey is a dangerous storm that continues to strengthen.
8:38am, pressure is now 949mb. Harvey may now have sustained winds of 115-120 mph. 

The forecast path map is below.
The map looks a bit confusing because the storm is forecast to stall near the coast. Let's break it down: The orange is the area that now has tropical storm force winds (~40 mph sustained winds). Note that it is nearing the coast. The brown is the area with hurricane force winds (75 mph sustained winds with higher gusts). Near the X is the eye with 110 mph sustained winds with gusts likely above 120 mph. The storm is still strengthening.

The M is the symbol for major hurricane. The eye is expected to make landfall around midnight to 1am tomorrow morning, give or take 30 miles or so. It is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by around 1pm Saturday. In the meantime, it will have done a great deal of damage, including causing widespread, long-lasting power failures.

Road sign this morning.
Because the storm will stall over Texas for an extended period of time, catastrophic flooding will occur.
The gold color is where more than ten inches is forecast to fall and the pink area is where more than 20" is forecast to fall. It is possible that a spot or two will receive more than 30 inches of rain! This will cause catastrophic flooding. Most rivers will reach record crests. Please note the flooding risk extends into southwest Louisiana.

As if all of this is not enough, there is a risk of tornadoes, especially in the brown area.
Addition: The NWS is saying parts of coastal Texas may be "uninhabitable for weeks or months."

So What Do I Do Now?

There are a number of good lists out there. Here are my suggestions. Get them done immediately!
  • Get prescriptions refilled now, especially if your doctor must approve the refill. 
  • If you have a relative at home that requires electricity for life-assistance purposes, you will want to move he or she outside of the higher wind zone. 
  • If you can get an electrician to install a generator, get it done. Do not try to install a generator yourself. 
  • If you don't have a generator, get a power inverter or two. Radio Shack and similar stores sell them. They are a "poor man's generator" and will keep your cell phone, laptop, and similar items charged. Tell the person in the store what you want to run off it so you get one of the right size. Do not try to run the inverter for hours at a time as that is tough on your car's battery. Charge the (for example) cell phone and let the charge run all the way down, then use the inverter to recharge. 
  • Keep your car's gas tank full. 
  • If you live in a 250-year flood plain (you can check at city hall or your library) or on the coast figure out your evacuation strategy now. Make your list of things you will take with you. Be prepared to leave at short notice.
  • Fill a few gas cans (the type you would use for your mower) to have extra in the event of power failures. 
  • Purchase extra food staples. Without power, stores will be closed. Things that require less preparation are better. Bottled water is especially important. Get a Coleman stove.
  • Purchase extra batteries for your cell phone and other essential equipment. 
  • If you need insulin or other medicine that must be kept chilled make plans now. 
  • Consider what you would do if you were without electricity for a two weeks. If you have an invalid living with you that requires electricity, there will be areas that will be without for weeks. Be proactive. 
  • If you live in a heavily wooded area, does someone in your vicinity have a gasoline-powered chain saw? Does it have fuel and a reasonably good chain/blade? Test it, now. 
  • Get to an ATM. Without power, credit card readers and ATMs will not be working. In a disaster, cash is king.
  • Addition: If you are in the high wind area, thoroughly photograph your home and possessions now. You will need it for insurance purposes. This includes trees, shrubs, etc. Then, if using a digital camera, upload to internet so it will be there after the storm in case the worse happens. 
Whether you evacuate or not, stockpile some good books, magazines, board games and keep a good attitude. Look at this as one of life's adventures.  

There is nothing wrong with a few prayers!!


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