Travel Alert August 2017: Hurricane Harvey Threatens Western Gulf Coast

If southern portions of Texas and Louisiana are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to torrential rains which are expected to deliver as much as 24 inches of rain and catastrophic flooding due to what is expected to become a major hurricane.

Travel Alert August 2017: Hurricane Harvey Threatens Western Gulf Coast

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey heads across the western Gulf of Mexico towards the coastline of the state of Texas, which is outlined with purple lines. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Hurricane Harvey — which is currently a Category 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and moving northwest at a speed of ten miles per hour — is expected to strengthen to become a Category 3 hurricane by the time landfall occurs in southern Texas tomorrow evening, Friday, August 25, 2017.

In addition to damaging winds, disruptions in power, dangerous surf and beach erosion, the main event is expected to be disastrous widespread flooding from as much as 24 inches of heavy rain — with some isolate tornadoes possible.

The flooding is expected to be so severe in cities such as Houston that evacuations are virtually certain to be mandatory in certain locations. Shortages in food, fuel and supplies is also a distinct possibility.

Although maximum sustained winds are currently at 85 miles per hour and are expected to increase to at least 111 miles per hour, wind gusts are expected to be damaging.

Airports which are expected to experience interruptions and delays in operations include — but are not limited to — those in Houston, Beaumont, Austin, Lake Charles, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, College Station, McAllen, San Antonio and New Orleans.

Other airports which are expected to be affected to a lesser extent — but may eventually be included in the travel alerts of airlines — include Shreveport, Gulfport and Baton Rouge.

A state of disaster was officially declared for 30 counties in Texas because of the hurricane.

By Sunday morning, the system will have lost its tropical characteristics with sustained winds less than 39 miles per hour; but it may still adversely affect some of the same airports — as it loops sharply around towards the east — with locally heavy rains and flooding.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to anywhere in the region of the Texas and Louisiana coasts of the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this winter weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are ten airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Summary

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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