Harvey intensified into a hurricane Thursday and steered for the Texas coast with the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges in what could be the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.
Forecasters labeled Harvey a “life-threatening storm” that posed a “grave risk.” Millions of people braced for a prolonged battering that could swamp dozens of counties more than 100 miles inland.
Landfall was predicted for late Friday or early Saturday between Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile (48-kilometer) stretch of coastline about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi. The region is mostly farm or ranchland dotted with waterfront vacation homes and has absorbed numerous Gulf of Mexico storms for generations.
Harvey grew unexpectedly quickly Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane. Fueled by warm Gulf waters, it was projected to