Total rainfall 8 a.m. Aug. 24

to 8 a.m. Sept. 1

0

50 inches or more

8 p.m.

Wednesday

TEXAS

LA.

Austin

9”

Beaumont

44”

Houston

43”

8 a.m.

Saturday

Rockport

22”

Gulf of

Mexico

Harvey’s

path

100 MILES

8 p.m.

Wednesday

TEXAS

LOUISIANA

Austin

9”

Lafayette

7”

Beaumont

44”

Houston

43”

San Antonio

3”

Galveston

25”

8 p.m.

Saturday

Gulf of Mexico

Rockport

22”

2 a.m.

Tuesday

Harvey’s

path

Total rainfall 8 a.m. Aug. 24

to 8 a.m. Sept. 1

100 MILES

0

50 inches or more

8 p.m. Wednesday

LOUISIANA

TEXAS

Austin

9”

Lafayette

7”

Beaumont

44”

Houston

43”

San Antonio

3”

Galveston

25”

8 p.m. Saturday

Victoria

10”

Rockport

22”

2 a.m. Tuesday

Gulf of Mexico

Corpus Christi

7”

Laredo

2 p.m. Friday

Total rainfall 8 a.m. Aug. 24

to 8 a.m. Sept. 1

0

50 inches or more

Harvey’s

path

100 MILES

Rainfall totals by day

Friday, Aug. 25

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Saturday

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Sunday

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Monday

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Tuesday

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Wednesday

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Rainfall totals by day

Friday, Aug. 25

Saturday

LA.

LA.

TEXAS

TEXAS

Houston

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Sunday

Monday

LA.

LA.

TEXAS

TEXAS

Houston

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Tuesday

Wednesday

LA.

LA.

TEXAS

TEXAS

Houston

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Rainfall totals by day

Friday, Aug. 25

Saturday

Sunday

TEXAS

LA.

TEXAS

LA.

TEXAS

LA.

Houston

Houston

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

TEXAS

LA.

TEXAS

LA.

TEXAS

LA.

Houston

Houston

Houston

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

Gulf of

Mexico

The downpour has stopped in Houston, which was inundated for days by record-setting rain and floodwaters from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

But Harvey, now a tropical depression, is still dumping extraordinary amounts of rain as it travels northeast through Louisiana.

Barrels per calendar day

100,000

200,000

600,000

Closed oil refinery (as of Wed.)

Partially open

Open

Strategic petroleum reserve site

Beaumont

TEXAS

Houston

Pipeline

Corpus Christi

Offshore

platforms

100 MILES

Oil refineries

Closed as of Wednesday

Barrels per

calendar day

100,000

200,000

600,000

Partially open

Open

Department of Energy strategic petroleum reserve site

TEXAS

Louisiana

Austin

Lake Charles

Beaumont

Houston

San Antonio

.1

Corpus Christi

Offshore

platforms

Pipeline

100 MILES

Oil refineries

Closed as of Wednesday

Barrels per

calendar day

100,000

200,000

600,000

Partially open

Open

Department of Energy strategic petroleum reserve site

MISSISSIPPI

ALABAMA

Austin

Lake Charles

New Orleans

LOUISIANA

Beaumont

Houston

TEXAS

San Antonio

Galveston

Gulf of Mexico

Corpus Christi

Pipeline

Offshore

platforms

100 MILES

The Southeast Texas city of Beaumont, home to many huge oil refineries, had recorded nearly four feet of rain by Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Mayor Derrick Freeman of Port Arthur, Tex., posted on Facebook that “our whole city is underwater right now.” Motiva shut down its Port Arthur plant, the country’s largest refinery, as the storm flooded the city.

Lake Charles, La., had more than a foot of rain, and storm surge threatened areas along the coast. The National Weather Service warned Wednesday of “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” that would continue from west of Houston into southwest Louisiana for the rest of the week. Vulnerable New Orleans is not in Harvey’s path, but the right-side rain bands will drench the city.

Arrow heights indicate water level

above flood threshold, in feet,

at 3 p.m. on Thursday

LA.

10 feet

TEXAS

25 feet

Houston

100 MILES

Arrow heights indicate water level above flood threshold, in feet,

at 3 p.m. on Thursday

TEXAS

Louisiana

10 feet

Baton Rouge

Austin

New Orleans

Beaumont

25 feet over

flood level

Houston

Gulf of Mexico

100 MILES

Arrow heights indicate water level above flood threshold, in feet, at 3 p.m. on Thursday

LOUISIANA

TEXAS

10 feet over

flood level

Baton Rouge

Austin

Lake Charles

Lafayette

New Orleans

Beaumont

Houston

25 feet over

flood level

San Antonio

Victoria

Gulf of Mexico

Rockport

Corpus Christi

50 MILES

Drainage and flooding are perennial worries along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast, and huge storms can overwhelm the two major cities.

The National Weather Service monitors four regions along the Gulf Coast, each with its own series of flood gauges.

Weather service gauges in the Houston/Galveston region reported the highest levels of flooding over the weekend as the storm slammed into the city starts and started its path northeast this week.

Hurricane Harvey

makes landfall

11 p.m. Aug. 25

Each line represents one gauge

30 feet

San Jancito River

San Jancito River

20

Buffalo Bayou

+10.7

+10.7

10

+8.7

+8.7

FLOODED

FLOODED

0

NOT FLOODED

NOT FLOODED

-10

-12

-12

-20

-23

-23

-30

-40

Aug. 31

Aug. 24

Gauges along the coast

Corpus Christi

20 feet

10

0

-10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 31

Aug. 24

Houston/Galveston

20 feet

10

0

-10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 31

Aug. 24

Lake Charles

20 feet

10

0

-10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 31

Aug. 24

New Orleans/Baton Rouge

20 feet

10

0

-10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 31

Aug. 24

Hurricane Harvey

makes landfall

11 p.m. Aug. 25

Each line represents one gauge

30 feet

San Jancito River

San Jancito River

20

Buffalo Bayou

+10.7

+10.7

10

+8.7

+8.7

FLOODED

FLOODED

0

NOT FLOODED

NOT FLOODED

-10

-12

-12

-20

-23

-23

-30

-40

Aug. 26

Aug. 27

Aug. 28

Aug. 29

Aug. 30

Aug. 31

Gauges along the coast

New Orleans/

Baton Rouge

Lake Charles

Houston/

Galveston

Corpus Christi

20 feet

20 feet

10

0

-10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 24

Aug. 31

Hurricane Harvey

makes landfall

11 p.m. Aug. 25

Each line represents one gauge

30 feet

San Jancito River

San Jancito River

Buffalo Bayou

20

Buffalo Bayou

+10.7

10

+8.7

FLOODED

FLOODED

NOT FLOODED

NOT FLOODED

0

-10

-12

-12

-20

-23

-23

-30

-40

Aug. 26

Aug. 27

Aug. 28

Aug. 29

Aug. 30

Aug. 31

Gauges along the coast

New Orleans/Baton Rouge

Lake Charles

Corpus Christi

Houston/Galveston

20 feet

20 feet

10

0

10

-20

-30

-40

Aug. 24

Aug. 31

Low-lying Houston is drained by a network of bayous that flow into one outlet, the Houston Ship Channel, a busy shipping port lined with some of the biggest oil refineries in the United States.

As the city’s population grew, developers built structures over large chunks of wetlands, leaving the vulnerable land with less natural drainage. The impermeable surfaces — asphalt and concrete — reduced the area’s ability to absorb excess water. Roads that were built to carry off water in an emergency were filled, hampering travel, evacuation and rescue efforts.

A close-up view of the flooding in Houston

New Orleans, which was devastated 12 years ago by Hurricane Katrina, had flooding earlier this month and problems with the huge pumping system that is supposed to get rid of the water.

Three key elements combined to create such a rain-laden storm as Harvey: the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, strong hurricane winds and a weak late-summer jetstream.

The result was a slow-moving storm that churned near Houston for days before meandering east, continuously dumping rain from the strong bands on its right side.

When Harvey returned to the warm gulf, it picked up more moisture to pour onto land. It is expected to continue creeping northeast until it dissipates later in the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The map below depicts flood waters detected by satellite imagery. This data is preliminary and does not show all of the flooded areas due to cloud cover.

Flooded areas observed from

satellite imagery through Aug. 30

TEXAS

Austin

Houston

Gulf of Mexico

50 MILES

Corpus Christi

Flooded areas observed from satellite imagery through Aug. 30.

Austin

Beaumont

LA.

TEXAS

Houston

San Antonio

50 MILES

Gulf of Mexico

Corpus Christi

Flooded areas observed from satellite imagery through Aug. 30.

50 MILES

LOUISIANA

Lafayette

Austin

Lake Charles

Beaumont

TEXAS

Houston

San Antonio

Galveston

Victoria

Gulf of Mexico

Rockport

Corpus Christi

Samuel Granados, Armand Emamdjomeh and Laris Karklis contributed to this report.

About this story

Sources: Observed precipitation data and flood gauge data from the National Weather Service. Hurricane track data from the National Hurricane Center. Satellite data from Dartmouth Flood Observatory. Oil infrastructure data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Refinery status data from S&P Global Platts.

Originally published Aug. 26, 2017.

Share

Most Read

Follow Post Graphics