Hurricane Harvey downgraded to tropical storm

Downgrading from Category 4 hurricane to tropical storm, Hurricane Harvey claims first victim, leaves death and destruction in its wake.

Chana Roberts, | updated: 23:57

Hurricane Harvey buries Texas ranch house
Hurricane Harvey buries Texas ranch house
Reuters

Hurricane Harvey is now a tropical storm, not a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

Harvey hit the Texas coast on Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane with winds gusting at 130 miles per hour. The first city hit was Rockport, where at least 10 people were treated in the jail as buildings crumbled.

Though people are trapped in buildings, the exact number of victims is not yet known. Rescue teams are not yet able to reach the victims.

At least one of the trapped victims died when a fire broke out during the storm. The number of injured, meanwhile, rose to at least a dozen.

Power outages caused by Harvey are affecting approximately 300,000 Texans.

Officials say rainfall will continue for days, and expect over 40 inches of rain, as well as flash flooding. These may reach inland as well, they said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted an announcement declaring Harvey a "disaster."

At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017

A White House statement spoke of assistance for Harvey's victims.

"Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," the statement read.

Harvey is the the US mainland's worst storm since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.




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