Washington: Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 4 storm just hours from making landfall on the Texas coast.
“Harvey has sustained wind speeds of 130 mph (209 kph),” reports CNN, citing the National Hurricane Center.
The heavy rainfall is estimated to be as high as 40 inches in some areas of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico.
Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall dangerous storm-surge flooding and destructive winds.
The center of the storm is just 45 miles east of Corpus Christi and Harvey has begun its expected slowdown. It is moving to the northwest at just 8 mph, reports said.
Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane to hit Texas in nearly nine years, labelled by forecasters as a “life-threatening” storm.
Isolated tornadoes are possible across portions of the middle and upper Texas coast.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are encouraging residents to pay heed to the directions from the local and state officials.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has requested the activation of 700 National Guard members.
In neighbouring Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a state-wide emergency declaration as Southwest Louisiana could see up to 10 inches of rain from the storm, the reports said.
Texas in 2001 witnessed multibillion-dollar disaster caused by the Tropical Storm Allison which brought 40 inches of rain in Houston.