Hurricane warnings have now been posted for the Central Texas coast from Matagorda to Port Mansfield, as Tropical Storm Harvey is strengthening and could become the first hurricane to hit the Texas coast in nine years, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Forecaster Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center tells News Radio 1200 WOAI the real danger of Harvey is not its winds, but its rain, and as the storm slows over the warm waters of the Gulf, that rain danger is getting a lot worse.
"We may be measuring rainfall in feet rather than inches," He said. "This is a potentially life threatening flooding situation."
He says the danger is extreme for people who live along the entire Texas coast, but the Coastal Bend and the Houston area are in the most danger for flooding and storm surge.
"Storm surge warnings will be needed along the Texas coastline, but the biggest single impact from Harvey is going to be the rainfall," he said.
National Hurricane Center forecaster John Cangelosi agrees.
"Projections are ten to fifteen inches with isolated amounts of twenty years from the Central Texas coast to Southwestern Louisiana," he said.
With storm surges expected, the oil refineries which line the Gulf Coast are preparing for flooding and power outages, which could lead to spikes in the price of gasoline.
In San Antonio, right now forecasters are calling for two to four inches of rain, and little to no wind impact, but that could change if Harvey changes course.
The rain could begin tonight, and will continue tomorrow and Saturday, with a 100% chance of rain in San Antonio for Saturday. And Harvey could stall over the lowlands of southeastern Texas, potentially continuing the rain, and the danger of flooding.