Editor’s note: This post was updated to reflect new developments in the storm’s casualties.
With the eye of Harvey making landfall near Rockport as a Category 4 storm, city officials shared ominous instructions for the estimated 50-60 percent of the town who stayed to ride out the hurricane:
“This isn’t a joke: take a Sharpee, and write your Social Security number on your left forearm and contact information for your kin because we will not be able to come help you at this point,” the city manager can be heard saying in the above interview.
This is Rockport, Texas.
Wishing safety for everyone. pic.twitter.com/F3K37HO1UP
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) August 25, 2017
While Rockport did sustain what witnesses and leaders are describing as “widespread damage,” and at least three are reported dead at this time, Harvey dissipated to a Category 1 then a tropical storm as it made its way inland.
As a precaution, Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested the President to declare a major disaster for the path of the storm, which was predicted to make its way to Austin.
The forecast prompted organizers to cancel the weekend’s scheduled Pride festivities, but the Hill Country rain was actually less than anticipated this weekend.
However, the state’s capital experienced another disaster sure to affect residents for weeks to come:
The nationally acclaimed Franklin Barbecue caught fire early this morning.
— Rebeca Trejo (@Rebeca_Trejo_) August 26, 2017
— Aaron Morgan (@Aaron_Morgan) August 26, 2017
Fire investigators believe the blaze began in the pit room, spreading to the second floor and the back of the East 11th Street building, later discovering the catalyst was a flying ember.
UPDATE ON FRANKLIN BBQ FIRE: cause of fire was wind blown ember from pit ignited combustible surroundings, caused $350K in damage . pic.twitter.com/zq4kjHb4vT
— Tania Ortega (@thetaniaortega) August 26, 2017
Franklin’s was planning on staying open during the expected flash floods today, but the $200,000 of structural damage and $150,000 loss in content forced a closure.
— Matthew Odam (@odam) August 26, 2017
In other ominous signs from above news, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed a 3.1-magnitude earthquake in Irving Friday.