Harvey’s Devastating Path of Destruction

Dangerous storm over ocean.

HOUSTON — Hurricane Harvey came ashore and caused devastation that affected millions of people. Estimates say the losses would put Harvey as the second costliest storm in U.S. history, and the final price tag could flirt with $125 billion.

SYNOPSIS: Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas as a Category 4 storm, making first landfall on Saturday, August 25, bringing storm surges up to seven to 12 feet. Downgraded afterwards to a tropical storm, rain and storm surges continued and Harvey regrouped to slam into other areas in the Gulf Coast and for several days added more misery to those in the area.

Flooding and its after effects will continue to be a concern not only for residents but also rescue workers and emergency flood restoration crews.

Below are some timelines as Cleanfax followed Harvey’s path and aftermath.


The bipartisan bill to increase FEMA funding to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts while also increasing the debt ceiling through December was approved by the House of Representatives in a 316-to-90 vote, according to CNN. The bill will now be sent to President Trump for his approval over the weekend.

Cleanup efforts are well under way in Corpus Christi, Houston, and other areas of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, just as Hurricane Irma gets ready to cut through the entirety of Florida.


The Senate today, in an 80-to-17 vote, approved the Hurricane Harvey aid/debt ceiling bill, which, if passed by the House, will provide a reported $15.9 billion in additional funding to FEMA for hurricane relief efforts, according to CNN.


President Trump surprised the population as well as representatives of the Republican party today when he gave his approval to a Democratic bill, which would would provide substantial aid funding to Hurricane Harvey clean-up efforts while simultaneously raising the debt ceiling to fund the government through December.


Estimated losses from Hurricane Harvey reach upwards of $75 billion as cleanup and reconstruction efforts in Texas continue to the living areas of the 30,000 area residents who have been displaced, according to CNN. Approximately 450,000 people are expected to reach out to FEMA for relief.


As relief work and restoration continues after Hurricane Harvey, storm watchers have their eye on Hurricane Irma, a massive storm with a pathway heading to the United States. CNN reports Irma is churning west across the Atlantic, putting parts of the Caribbean on watch and prompting warnings for the US mainland to be prepared should the storm head that way.


As reported by various news agencies, such as the Washington Post, relief work after Hurricane Harvey is heavy with the “do-it-yourself” approach. Texans are returning home and finding extensive damage and are getting to work with putting their lives back together. Professional restoration efforts will ramp up this week as flood waters continue to recede and several sunny days are forecast.


With relief work continuing in the aftermath of Harvey, reported deaths are now more than 50. Estimates to rebuild and restore after waters recede and work begins indicate that Hurricane Harvey could be the second costliest storm in the history of the United States. Some officials are saying costs could be more than $100 billion.


The death toll continued to rise, as the New York Times reported that local officials now say that at least 46 deaths were related to or suspected to be related to the storm, and cautioned that the number could still rise.

In Houston, where thousands of people had been pulled to safety from stranded vehicles and rooftops, city work crews collected trash and cleared debris-choked streets, and people by the thousands returned to their homes to see what was left of their belongings, the Times said.

Flooding remained severe in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, but the storm is starting to lose its tropical characteristics as it moves toward the Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.


(7:42 a.m. ET) Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall for the third time in five days, hitting western Louisiana at the border with Texas, according to NBC and other outlets. The area is expecting six to 10 inches of additional rainfall. Parts of Louisiana and nearby Southern states, including Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, are expected to see tornadoes as the storm moves northeast towards Kentucky.

Rain is expected to continue in Texas through Friday, with total rainfall expected to exceed 50 inches, according to the New York Times.


(2:48 p.m. ET) Tropical Storm Harvey has broken the all-time Texas rainfall record from a tropical storm or hurricane, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Southeast of Houston, a rain gauge at Mary’s Creek at Winding Road has picked up 49.32 inches of rain from Harvey, the weather service said. This broke the record of 48 inches set in Medina, TX, from Amelia in 1978.

It’s only three inches from the all-time U.S. rainfall record from a tropical cyclone, which was 52 inches in Hawaii from Hurricane Hiki in 1950, according to historical news reports.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, calling the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” said the region would not recover anytime soon (NY TIMES).

President Donald Trump, along with the first lady, visited Texas to see the devastation firsthand and speak to victims.


(4 a.m. ET): President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana ahead of expected flooding in the state as a result of storms produced by the tropical storm, according to the Washington Post and other outlets. The move allows federal resources, primarily the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to be allocated to efforts in the area. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, in a statement on August 27, had requested that the president declare the state of emergency as the National Weather Center predicted up to two feet of rainfall in parts of the state.

(8 a.m. ET): Early on August 28, overfilled reservoirs in the Houston area were opened by the Army Corp of Engineers in an effort to reduce the flooding impact on surrounding areas, according to NPR and other outlets. The opening of the reservoirs, however, is expected to cause greater flooding to the Houston area.

Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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