Update: 11:44 a.m.: The National Weather Service has described this event as “unprecedented.”
Update, 8:00 a.m. Sunday: images from Houston early Sunday show extreme flooding.
Update, 7:14 p.m.: the Austin American-Statesman reported that Harvey has “stalled” over Southeast Texas, an area the storm is expected to remain, generally, over the next several days.
Meteorologists warn that the persistent rains may result in “devastating” flooding.
Update, 5:00 p.m.: Early images of the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey are now circulating.
Update, 3:55 p.m.: At least three have died, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Roy Laird, assistant fire chief with the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department, said three people were dead in Aransas County. Emergency responders continued to comb through the debris of collapsed buildings, overturned trailers, broken power poles and uprooted trees.
The Austin American-Statesman, however, is reporting at this time that one person is confirmed dead. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had said just an hour or so earlier that he was still waiting for confirmation of fatalities.
Update, 2:03 p.m.: Hurricane Harvey is now a tropical storm.
Although Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 storm, the fallout in Texas has only just begun.
The “Lone Star State” is now bracing itself for extreme flooding conditions in the coming days. More than nine inches of rain has fallen in South Texas.
Harvey made landfall about 10 p.m. Friday east-northeast of Corpus Christi as a Category 4, with winds in excess of 130 mph.
But wind speeds quickly weakened and by early Saturday, Harvey was downgraded. It continues to produce gusts of up to 120 mph and sustained winds of 90 mph. The National Hurricane Center warns of “catastrophic flooding” over the next few days.
Emergency personnel in coastal communities like Rockport, just northeast of Corpus Christi, say there’s broad damage to buildings. But Rockport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims said early Saturday that firefighters were hunkered down at the city’s fire station waiting for conditions to improve to assess the damage.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report. Stay tuned for updates.