How can you help?  Scroll down to the bottom of the original article to see how you can help Salvation Army in the area.

Update – Resources – Local media for affected areas:

Broadcast Media

Newspapers:

Social Media:

Twitter – #HurricaneHarvey

Update – 8 a.m.:

ERCOT says 213,000 Texas utility customers are without power in the affected areas.

From the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston office: “Catastrophic flooding expected due to a prolonged heavy rainfall from Harvey. With SE TX under a Flash Flood Watch, here are the estimated forecast rainfall totals. This means that flooding is possible and people living in this region should be prepared for flash flooding.”

Update – 7:30 a.m.:

As of 7:30 a.m., Harvey’s eye wall was near Victoria. Rain bands were as far north as McKinney.

Harvey is now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, which is still dangerous.  The National Hurricane Center says it is moving slowly over Texas, producing torrential rains, which is expected to cause catastrophic flooding over the next few days.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue to weaken into a tropical storm today, but it will meander over the southeastern part of the state through the middle of next week.

Part of the storm is still over the gulf, feeding moisture in to fuel continued rains.

Update – 3:45 a.m.:

Overnight, Harvey has weakened to a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 110 mph – still quite deadly.

Update – 11:15 p.m.:

Update – 10:45 p.m.:

  • The Texas Comptroller announced that Governor Abbott is suspending hotel occupancy taxes in the state for evacuees from Hurricane Harvey.  That will save people at least 6 percent.
  • Residents of Corpus Christi have been advised to boil their water before consumption.

Update – 10:30 p.m.:

Harvey made landfall around 10 p.m. near Port Aransas.  According to the Coastal Bend Chronicle, the roof blew off of Aransas Pass High School, and numerous structures have collapsed.

Original:

As of Friday night at 7 p.m., Hurricane Harvey was nearing landfall near Corpus Christi as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.  National Hurricane Center forecasts call it a life-threatening situation and warn of catastrophic flooding.  Storm surge of 6 to 12 feet and projected rainfall in the coastal region of 15 to 25 inches with localized rainfall amounts up to 35 inches virtually guarantee flooding.

Harvey will be the first hurricane to cross the Texas coastline since 2008, when Hurricane Ike hit Galveston.

In advance of the storm, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for the 30 counties in the path of the storm.  

“Granting this request will provide Texans the additional resources needed to protect themselves, their property and rebuild their lives if necessary after Hurricane Harvey,” said Governor Abbott.  “I want to continue to encourage Texans to take this threat seriously, heed warnings from local officials, and do all they can to prepare as the state of Texas works to ensure we are in the best position to respond to urgent needs following this storm.”

The National Weather Service forecasts from Friday noted that North Texas could see wind gusts up to 25 mph, and isolated heavy rainfall and flooding.  Areas south of Waco were expected to get wind gusts to 40 mph and heavy rainfall and likely flooding.  Lewisville has a 30 percent chance of rain for Saturday.

Lewisville emergency management specialist Matt Lamunion said Friday that he was monitoring the situation and awaiting any further requests from the state for assistance. Lamunion said that Lewisville had not been asked to provide shelter for evacuees.

Lewisville Fire Chief Tim Tittle said that the department had sent personnel to assist with the storm.  EMS Division Chief Ricky Reeves will be overseeing a task force, which was staged in San Antonio in advance of the storm.  Captain Michael Spinuzzi is overseeing a strike team of five ambulances, including one from Lewisville.  

Four other firefighter paramedics are participating, including two manning that ambulance. Tittle said the ambulances had gone down to Corpus Christi and Port Aransas to pick up patients to evacuate them to San Antonio.  Friday night, some were deploying down to Lake Jackson.

Flower Mound sent their ambulance bus with seven firefighters to the area as well.  They spent Thursday night transporting patients, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

Although Lewisville is not expected to experience severe weather due to the hurricane, Lamunion urged residents to monitor the weather.  

“If we get one little cell that just pops up and stays right on top of Lewisville, you know we could have small stream flooding and things like that — so definitely pay attention to the weather,” Lamunion said.

Lamunion said that any residents who live in apartment complexes and who might have relatives coming in from the affected areas should get in touch with the apartment management regarding parking arrangements to avoid having visitors’ vehicles towed.

Animal Services field supervisor Crystal Palmer said Lewisville’s Gene Carey Animal Shelter had agreed to take in up to 10 animals if other animal shelters in the path of the storm needed to evacuate their shelters.

We’re trying to help out but also not overburden ourselves on that end, because we still have a responsibility to the city,” Palmer said.

Community relations director James Kunke said the city’s emergency operations center had a soft activation, meaning that staff were on call and receiving periodic emails with status updates.  

Kunke urged residents not to try to drive down to the affected area but instead to trust that the people running the scene know what they are doing.

The Salvation Army’s mobile canteen, seen in April of this year at an emergency preparedness summit, can be used to feed victims and first responders in disaster areas.

If Lewisville residents would like to help and can spare a few days, Stephen Thomas, director of the Salvation Army center in Lewisville may have a spot for them.  Thomas and members of his 40-volunteer team are taking their mobile canteen truck down to the area on Sunday afternoon.  

The truck and its volunteer staff feed victims and first responders in disaster areas. Thomas said that he could use help from people who have a food handlers’ certificate, which can be obtained online for $9 and within two hours. Volunteers would have food and lodging provided but would be expected to serve shifts of four days each, working long hours each day.  The effort is expected to last into next month, and Thomas has openings for each team. To inquire, email Thomas at stephen.thomas@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Thomas said the local mobile canteen truck was one of 50 that Salvation Army owns that will be stopping at a warehouse in Arlington to load up, then head down to the coast.

For residents who would like to donate money or goods, Thomas said they could take items or mail checks to the Salvation Army center at 206 W. Main Street.  The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to noon.


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