“Hurricane” Hal Needham is a storm surge scientist who specializes in data-driven storm surge analysis. He is the founder and president of Marine Weather and Climate.
I will make this a quick post. The worst conditions faced in Harvey unfolded overnight and is still unfolding this morning in the "Golden Triangle" of Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange.
Harvey made a second landfall near here, and torrential rain has been literally spinning over the same areas for 9-12 hours now. Rainfall rates have reached 4-6 inches an hour at times.
Extreme rainfall has knocked out utilities, including satellite TV. Many quickly became cut off from most information sources.
I set up Facebook group to connect people and more than 800 joined within 2 hours. The messages have been horrific.
There have been messages like, "EXTREME CRISIS! THIS IS AN OLDER COUPLE! Just spoke to (name redacted). Says water up to shoulders. Will try to get on roof of house."
I promise I am not exaggerating when I say at least hundreds, if not thousands, of people are fighting for their lives right now.
Any rescue equipment — particularly boats — are desperately needed right now. The worst hit areas overnight seem to be Nederland and Port Arthur, but things are extremely bad in Beaumont and points north now.
Even if you are in Arkansas, Oklahoma or Missouri, if you can haul a boat to southeast Texas, I guarantee that there will be more people than you could possibly rescue two days from now. Normally, a major response would be launched for Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange, but regional resources are strained with Houston underwater.
The scale of this is incomprehensible. People across two or three counties are fighting for their lives. Because those counties are so big, it's as if the entire states of Connecticut and Rhode Island are submerged.
We aren't hearing these people crying out because they have no voice. Many have lost power, and in the best case, have made it to a roof. The eyes of the world are on Houston and these smaller cities in southeast Texas are crying out and nobody can hear them.