The Latest: Harvey downgraded to Category 1 hurricane
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Harvey (all times local):
Harvey has been further downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it churns slowly inland from the Texas Gulf Coast, already depositing more than 9 inches of rain 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 (210 kph).
But wind speeds quickly weakened and by early Saturday Harvey was downgraded. It continues to produce gusts of up to 120 mph (193 kph) and sustained winds of 90 mph (144 kph). 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.
Hurricane Harvey has settled over southeast Texas, dumping rain and lashing the state’s Gulf Coast with damaging winds.
The storm made landfall Friday night as a Category 4 with 130 mph (209 kph) winds. It gradually weakened over the next several hours and by early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said it back to a Category 2 — still sustaining winds of 110 mph (185 kph) as of 3 a.m.
Early damage reports from Gulf Coast cities included collapsed roofs and walls. One community transported multiple people from a senior living home to the county jail for treatment after a roof caved in.
But officials remained largely unable to assess the damage before daylight.
The storm is expected to slow further and flood the area with rain through the middle of next week. The center warned that Harvey could produce life-threatening storm surges along a coastal area of more than 400 miles (643 kilometers).