Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Tropical Storm Harvey Gathering Strength as Western Gulf Region Prepares

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2017 AS OF 11:00 am EST

Tropical Storm Harvey gathered significant strength overnight in the Gulf of Mexico, and is forecasted to be upgraded to a major Hurricane by Friday.  That would mean heavy rains and flooding in southeast Texas along the central coast by Friday, lasting through the weekend.  Current NFS Precipitation maps from the National Weather Service indicates that the storm could bend east, also affecting the Louisiana coast. The model below displays the anticipated precipitation.

On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency for 30 counties[1] in coastal and central Texas.

NOAA 5 Day Tropical Storm Harvey Coastal Watches/Warnings and Forecast Cone for Storm Center

[1] Aransas, Austin, Bee, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Brazoria, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton, and Wilson Counties. CURRENT AS OF THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2017 AS OF 11:00 EST

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm Harvey could be upgraded to a Hurricane by Friday. This classification means winds could range from 74 to 110 MPH, accompanied by significant rainfall.

On its current path, Harvey could drop an estimated 12 inches inches of rain along the coast in Chambers, Fort Bend, Chambers, Galveston, and Wharton Counties.  Flash flooding is likely in these coastal counties, which may be emboldened by 4 to 6 feet of storm surge, according to the National Weather Service.

Another area of concern is the Harris County – particularly the Houston metro area.  Some models show Harvey slowing down over the Houston area long enough to saturate the area with up to 30 inches of rain over several days.

Texans living in all 30 declared counties should prepare. That means getting enough food, water, and supplies to outlast a multi-day storm that could cause power outages and damaging floods.


Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) in decreasing order of severity:

  • Hurricane Warning:
    • Port Mansfield to Matagorda Texas
  • Hurricane Watch:
    • South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande
  • Tropical Storm Warning:
    • North of Matagorda to High Island Texas
    • South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande
  • Tropical Storm Watch:
    • South of the Mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan Mexico
  • Storm Surge Warning:
    • Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass Texas
  • Storm Surge Watch:
    • South of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande
    • North of San Luis Pass to High Island Texas


  • The National Hurricane Center regularly updated tracking of Tropical Storm Harvey: link
  • Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe: link

Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps our clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty Consulting’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.

You can learn more about our disaster recovery practice here.