A WORLD OF LOCAL EXPERTISE
Latest update on Tropical Storm Harvey (29 August)
Aug 29 2017



Tropical Storm Harvey continues to produce heavy rain across south-eastern Texas and Louisiana, which has led to significant flooding. Harvey will continue to impact the region throughout this week with an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain expected to fall. Harvey made landfall at around 11:00PM EDT last Friday (25 August) between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor (Texas) as a category 4 hurricane; the storm has subsequently been downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour.


IMPACT ON SHIPPING

(as at Monday 28 August)


Ports in the path of Harvey have been closed since Friday (25 August). The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port / Sector Offices expect to remain at Port Condition ZULU (ports closed) for at least the next 48 hours. Ship traffic may not start moving until Thursday (31 August) and possibly later, depending on damage assessments and restoration efforts.


This closure affects all ports from Lake Charles, LA southwest to Corpus Christi, Texas (this range includes port areas of Lake Charles, Beaumont, Pt. Arthur, Galveston, Texas City, Houston, Freeport, Port Lavaca, Point Comfort and Corpus Christi).


Other Louisiana ports on the Mississippi River are open and operating normally. While they do expect to receive heavy rain from the outer bands and remnants of Harvey, the amounts are not expected to be so severe to affect shipping along the Mississippi River.


We will provide updates as conditions change and updates are available.


GROUND TRANSPORTATION 


This remains one of the most significant issues, with road flooding blocking and significantly restricting movement across the Greater Houston Area and east to Beaumont, Texas. While the expected rainfall in the next few days is less than the last 48 hours, the rain that fell over the weekend is still draining to the sea through already overflowing creeks, rivers, and bayous.


It is currently not clear how long it will take to return to ‘normal’ road conditions, which is impacting people looking to get to their place of work. Flooding is not covering the entire area, but it is presently affecting nearly every major arterial road in one place or another.


AIR TRANSPORTATION 


Houston area airports (George Bush International and Houston Hobby) remain closed to all but humanitarian flights. Flights are not expected to resume until at least Thursday (31 August). Corpus Christi’s area airport resumed operations yesterday.


ELECTRICITY SECTOR 

(as at 2:30PM EDT - Monday 28 August)


Texas: 292,704 customers power outages (2.5% of total customers)


- AEP Texas is the most significantly impacted utility

- AEP estimates 95% of outages in Corpus Christi area will be restored by late Wednesday and expects 95% of outages restored for most other areas by Saturday; however, estimates may be updated upon completion of damage assessments

- Restoration in severely damaged or flooded areas will be delayed and utility companies are reminding customers that equipment must be inspected before electricity can be restored to homes or businesses impacted by flooding


Louisiana: 2,582 customer power outages (<1% of total customers)


OIL & NATURAL GAS SECTOR 

(as at 2:30PM EDT - Monday 28 August)


- Six refineries in the Corpus Christi area and four refineries in the Houston / Galveston area are shut down

- Three refineries in the Houston / Galveston region area and one refinery in the Beaumont / Port Arthur area were operating at reduced rates

- Retail gas station outages have been reported in the impacted region; however, overall stocks of gasoline and distillate in the region are at or above the top-end of the 5-year range

- As of Monday (28 August) 19% of oil production and 18% of natural gas production in Gulf of Mexico was shut-in 


COMMUNICATIONS


Impact on communication appears to be minimal, despite the flooding. Phone systems, particularly mobile networks are coping well. Internet service may be down in areas where power is out, but other than this systems seem to be operating normally.


ISS management in Houston are contactable on their mobile phones.

 
 


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