Thursday, August 17th
The National Hurricane Center issues advisories on Tropical Depression #9. By noon it is a tropical storm named Harvey.
Friday, August 18th
Harvey passed over the Windward Islands but with a max wind speed of only 40 mph. It was unclear where it would end up. No one could have known that the 19 trillion gallons of water that would soon fall over Texas.
Saturday, August 19th
Harvey weakens and is only a “tropical wave,” which is even less than a tropical depression. Weather forecasters determine that there was only a “low chance” of regeneration.
Wednesday, August 23rd
New weather prediction models showed that Harvey was not done yet. It was unclear where Harvey was going to hit, but it was clear that it was gaining strength off of the coast. Harvey goes from a tropical wave to a tropical depression and finally, by 11 PM, Harvey is a tropical storm. Governor Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 Texas counties.
Thursday, August 24th
By morning Harvey has become a Category 1 Hurricane with 80 mph wind speeds offshore. According to the Houston Chronical, it was at this point the Army Corps forecast that the Barker and Addicks reservoirs would spill beyond government-owned land. However, they did not publish this prediction with the public.
Friday, August 25th
Harvey was a Category 2 Hurricane with 100 mph winds Friday morning. It increased in strength steadily and by 2 PM Harvey was a Category 3 Hurricane with 120 mph winds. By 5 PM that evening Harvey is a Category 4 Hurricane with 130 mph winds. The National Weather Service in Corpus Christi issued a rare Extreme Wind Warning. Harvey makes landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane on San Jose Island near Rockport.
Saturday, August 26th
Harvey makes landfall again at 1 AM on Copano Bay, by then it had downgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane. By 7 AM coastal counties had received 10-15 inches of rain. Nearly two days after the Army Corps predicted flooding, Fort Bend County was briefed by the Corps and issued the first flood warning to neighborhoods near the Barker reservoir. By then the storm was well on its way.
It should be noted that evacuation during a storm is incredibly dangerous. Casualties occur most often in attempts to flee on the roads during a storm. Because Harvey was already causing heavy rain and high winds, officials urged people to stay where they were and to weather the storm at home if at all possible.
Sunday, August 27th
Nearly 10 days since Harvey formed as a tropical depression in the Atlantic, Harvey, having weakened back into a tropical storm, moved slowly over Houston. The National Weather Service in Houston reported catastrophic and unprecedented flooding. It was at this point that Harris County issued flood warnings to neighborhoods upstream of both the Barker and Addicks reservoirs. By then many houses were already flooded. Residents fled on foot or were rescued by boats. Neighborhoods in Northwest Houston were devastated by flooding but had no idea their homes were at risk. Many of these homes had weathered several major storms prior which lead people to believe that their home would be safe from the flooding this time as well.
Heavy rain continued until Wednesday, August 30th. The national guard deployed 24,000 troops to offer emergency aid. According to the Texas Tribune and the Department of State Health Services. A total of 88 people died due to Hurricane Harvey. According to FEMA more than $1.5 billion in federal funds were paid to Texans impacted by the disaster, including assistance grants, low-interest disaster loans, and flood insurance advance payments within the first 30 days after the storm.
The recovery process continues today.
Well over a year later, many people are still without their homes. We are proud of the work we have done to help Houstonians in this ongoing fight. Firm Partner Armi Easterby was appointed to represent individual claimants as Upstream Co-Lead Counsel. We are proud to be directly involved in holding the Federal Government accountable for taking private property through the legal process known as reverse condemnation. Contact us HERE if you or someone you know has been affected by the flooding of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.