Harvey Could Be the Storm to 'Kill America's Economy'
Texas has missed its opportunity to prepare for the perfect storm
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2017 1:48 PM CDT
Matt Looingvill struggles with his umbrella as he tries to walk in the wind and rain, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – "It is not if, but when Houston’s perfect storm will hit," ProPublica states in a massive report about Texas' hurricane preparedness—or lack thereof—published back in 2016. ProPublica warned of thousands dead, the loss of industries and shipping, and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses flooded. A Republican congressman said such a storm would "kill America's economy." With Hurricane Harvey, it appears that perfect storm may be about to arrive. Experts hoped Hurricane Ike's near miss in 2008 would spur Texas to prepare for the inevitable. It didn't, and last year the state's land commissioner said the possibility of a major hurricane hitting without the necessary preparations having been made "keeps me up at night." Here's what else you need to know about Hurricane Harvey:

  • In its latest forecast, the AP reports Harvey will likely hit Texas twice—once this weekend and again sometime next week—making flooding worse in areas already expected to get up to 3 feet of rain in the next day or two.
  • Harvey is President Trump's first natural disaster, but it will be handled by President Obama, at least figuratively, according to Quartz. Trump hasn't filled the top spot at NOAA or two of the three politically appointed positions at FEMA. The three roles are currently being staffed by Obama holdovers.
  • CNET has video released from NASA showing the massive Hurricane Harvey as seen from the International Space Station. "Here's a prayer for family, friends, and everyone," astronaut Jack Fischer says. "Stay safe."
  • Experts tell CNN gas prices could jump between five and 15 cents due to the hurricane. "You're seeing prices move up because refiners have to take precautionary measures," one analyst says. Dozens of production platforms and at least one oil rig have been evacuated.
  • The Times-Picayune reports a Louisiana coroner warns Hurricane Harvey could trigger PTSD in people who survived Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago. "This is not to be taken lightly," Charles Preston says.
  • "You should believe the meteorologists." That's the message from FiveThirtyEight when it comes to the deadliness of Hurricane Harvey. The site notes that the ability to predict winds, flooding, and hurricane paths is better than ever.
  • Finally, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants undocumented immigrants to know that they won't need to show an ID in order to get into shelters, the Washington Post reports. “What everyone is focused on right now is doing all we can to protect life," he says. The feds also say they don't plan to conduct "non-criminal" immigration checks at evacuation sites or shelters.

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