Slow-Moving Harvey Is 'Virtually Stalled'

Harvey could pinch US gas supplies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2017 4:54 AM CDT
Updated Aug 28, 2017 6:34 AM CDT
Storm Could Pinch US Gas Supplies
An oil refinery flare continues to burn as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday.   (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

The tropical storm formerly known as Hurricane Harvey is continuing to cause massive flooding in Texas, and analysts say the state's oil and gas industry has been hit very hard. Almost a third of US refining capacity is in the affected coastal areas, and experts say closures due to flooding could pinch the gas supply, sending prices up as much as 25 cents a gallon. "This is the dominoes starting to fall," a GasBuddy petroleum analyst tells the AP. "This is sort of slowly turning out to be the worst-case scenario." In other developments:

  • Dams opened. The US Army Corps of Engineers opened the Addicks and Barker flood-control dams on the western outskirts of Houston overnight in a controlled release to prevent uncontrollable flooding of downtown Houston, KHOU reports. Thousands of nearby residents were advised to pack their bags overnight and leave their homes Monday morning.

  • Evacuations. A series of voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders were issued in the Houston region Sunday night as several more inches of rain fell on the area, reports the Houston Chronicle. Officials warn that possible structural damage, including bridge collapses and levee overflows, could leave residents trapped by the storm. The storm is expected to keep dumping rain on the area for days, bringing the total to over 50 inches in some areas.
  • National Guard. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Sunday night that 1,000 more National Guard troops are being activated to deal with flooding in Houston, CNN reports. The governor plans to tour hard-hit coastal counties Monday with Sen. John Cornyn.
  • "Most devastating." The floods, described as "catastrophic and life-threatening" by the National Weather Service, are the worst on record and are set to get even worse in the days to come. "What we're seeing is the most devastating flood event in Houston's recorded history," a meteorologist tells Reuters. The storm has already caused at least five deaths.
  • Stalled. In a 4am CDT update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is now centered 120 miles southwest of Houston and is moving southeast at just 3mph, leaving it "virtually stalled" near the coast, the AP reports.
  • "We'll get through." Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose force used motorboats and airboats to rescue at least 2,000 people Sunday, urged Texans to stay strong, reports the New York Times. "It's sad," he said. "It breaks your heart for our city and our state. But it's Texas. We'll get through."
(More Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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