MOTHER NATURE

Major Damage Reported in Texas as Hurricane Weakens to Tropical Storm

Major damage was reported in several cities along the Texas coast after Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday, with local authorities in Rockport describing a scene of devastation. Local media in Rockport reported that at least 10 people were injured when the roof of a senior housing center caved in late Friday, and authorities said the roof of a high school had partially collapsed as well. The storm hit the area as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 130 mph before being downgraded to a Category 2 and then a Category 1 storm early Saturday. By Saturday afternoon, it was a tropical storm, though authorities warned residents that flooding could cause more chaos in the days ahead.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, though local hospitals prepared for an influx of injured residents as rescuers began searching the affected areas. Jeff Piotrowski, a well-known storm chaser, posted photos on Twitter of an entire area in Holiday Beach that had been destroyed, warning authorities, “Help needed ASAP.” He said apartment buildings had collapsed in the area. The Coast Guard on Saturday also announced it was responding to calls for help from boats near Port Aransas. Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios earlier told local news station KIII-TV that any residents planning to stay put and ride out the storm “should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen” so that rescuers can identify them.