Market Overview

Harvey Downgraded To Tropical Storm; Texas Braces for 'Catastrophic' Flooding

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Harvey Downgraded To Tropical Storm; Texas Braces for 'Catastrophic' Flooding
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After making landfall in Rockport, Texas, Friday night as a Category 4 storm with 130-mph winds, Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm Saturday. It’s expected to cause “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

The slow-moving storm is forecast to dump 15 to 30 inches of rain across the middle and upper Texas coast through Thursday, with 40-inch totals in some areas.

The storm’s wind speeds were at 70 mph as it moved northwest at 2 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Storm surges as high as 7 feet are possible in some areas of coastal Texas.

Tornadoes are possible from the middle and upper coast of Texas to southwestern Louisiana, according to meteorologists.

FEMA’s priorities are supporting affected states with search-and-rescue services, mass care, disaster medical services, temporary power and life-sustaining commodities, Brock Long, the agency’s administrator, said in a statement.

“Those in the path of the storm need to prepare for significant, ongoing impacts and disruptions to daily activities,” Long said.

No casualties have been reported, according to the New York Times.

A CNN report Saturday said large portions of southeast Texas “were littered with uprooted trees, toppled signs, flagpoles that snapped like toothpicks and clusters of bricks peeled like scabs from walls and rooftops.”

The Oil Impact

Before Harvey made landfall, U.S. crude rose 44 cents Friday to $47.87 a barrel.

Gasoline prices, which were at $1.54 a gallon Friday, could increase between 5 and 15 cents a gallon in the wake of the storm, Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN Money.

A million barrels a day of refining capacity has been idled on the Gulf Coast and almost a quarter of offshore production has been shut down, according to the New York Times.

The Corpus Christi shipping terminals where oil and refined products are imported and exported are closed, the newspaper said.

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Image Credit: "The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite saw the temperature at the top of Hurricane Harvey on 25 August 2017 at 04:06 GMT as the storm approached the US state of Texas." Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [CC BY-SA 3.0-igo (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0-igo) or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

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