Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas, expected to cause 'catastrophic' flooding

The storm, a Category 4 with sustained winds of 130 mph when it hit, led to mass evacuations and power outages, and is expected to cause widespread devastation.
12:18 | 08/26/17

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Transcript for Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas, expected to cause 'catastrophic' flooding
This storm is not nearly over. And what's so remarkable about it is how much rain it has dumped in this area, not just the winds. It is simply this relentless storm pounding this area right now. Juju. And clearly you've been seeing people run from the path of the storm throughout the day. How's the community been reacting? The community's devastated and surprising there are still people driving down the roads. We spoke to one woman who came to port aransis and she's about to give birth on Tuesday and she wanted to flee but she can't because she has a scheduled c-section and she basically knows that where her house is there's a mandatory evacuation, there's almost no chance that it is going to survive. This family heartbroken. So many people in this community struggling through. Especially since many people left their homes. They don't know what they're going to find. We were in rockport. It is a ghost to. This pan-flat community that is going to be inundated. Places like that are going to take a long time to recover. Just one more note about this particular storm, juju. I've been to a lot of hurricanes, but what is unique about this is it just continues to hover and sit over this area and then it's going to make a u-turn coming back, dumping all of this rain for days on end. Normally you get a bit of a respite after the initial passing of the storm. But not with this one. And that is what is so concerning to officials in this part of Texas, juju. Well, stay safe, Matt. I know you've covered many storms, but be well. We're going to turn now, though, to port lavecqua, text tx a low-lying area which is likely to be flooded and also where there are mandatory evacuations. Home to a third of America's refineries. ABC meteorologist rob Marciano is live from the most dangerous side of the storm. But we just lost his signal a moment ago. He joins us by phone. Rob, can you hear us? Reporter: I hear you, juju. We lost power. I just saw part of our hotel go flying off the side. A down spout dangling. Thingsing to R continuing to ramp up. All the sounds that we're hearing, it's become that much more -- it's been since 2005 that I've experienced a storm of this strength at night, namely hurricane Rita. That was -- Similar feelings tonight. Right now I'm pinned up against a pillar of our hotel, which is -- which is why we decided to stay. Here staying here with other media colleagues. But now with the storm surge we are surrounded by water. This hotel is an island. We're at high tide. But tides don't mean a whole lot in this part of Texas. With the winds blowing as they are I expect the water to continue to pile up things are going downhill in a hurry. Now that we have no light at all -- nbld nbltd and the rain is coming down -- Rob, thank you so much for your reporting throughout the day and into the evening. I know you're a veteran of many of these storms. Please stay safe. Don't tack any undue risks. But we're going to turn now here in the studio to our meteorologist Kate parker who lives and breathes hurricanes. Kate, what makes this story and this particular storm so scary for you? It's a storm that's not measured over the course of hours. It's measured over the course of a week that we're going to look at these impacts. So this is not anything that's going to be a quick one and done. We're not measuring in inches of rain. We're measuring in feet of rain. If you look at the radar you can see this category 4 storm, the first to make landfall since 2004, has made landfall but it's not just the rain, the wind. It's a tornado threat as well. So we've got a tornado watch that's up. You can see that extends all the way from just north of corpus chrii into Louisiana. And some of it is the funny loop that the path of the storm is going to take. Exactly. Look at that flash flood watch and this explains exactly why. This is a category 2 storm inland in the forecast. It's not just on the coast. Look how it meanders and these days on days. Look at that. That's Wednesday 7:00 P.M. And it's still hovering near Houston, dumping rain all this time. That's why we're measuring in feet of rain, not inches of rain. Look at this, locally over two feet possible. And why are there conflicting signals that we're hearing about, whether to evacuate or not? Where can you go when you're looking at a rainfall forecast? That's a tough call to make. If you're evacuating for wind and storm surges it's an easier call. But look at this widespread area. It's all of south Texas. Sxrel the rainfall totals are scary but it's the flooding you're worried about. Right. We've got dry soil. We're going to see quick runoff of this rain. We're going to see this rain dump in the same area for days on end. And then we've got the storm surge which means it can't drain easily. So you've got coastal flooding, you've got inland flooding. You've got days of it. It's an unusual situation. And the evacuation was made that much more difficult because this storm really did pop up fast. It did. It developed very quickly. On Wednesday we weren't looking at a storm of this size and here we are with a category 4 landfall. But the gulf was primed. The gulf of Mexico was ready for a storm of this size. Everything was primed for it. We had the warm water, we had low shear, and this is what happened as a result. And yet this will stall over this system which will also affect air traffic in that region for days. It's likely you can't fly a plane in tropical storm force winds, at least not safely. Looking at like I said a category 2 hurricane over land for days on end. This is not something that's going away quickly. And the people there, I worry that you look at this and say landfall's happened, we're in the clear. That is not the case. We appreciate your insights. Thanks, Kate. Joining us now from taftd, Texas is Mary Lou galinda just north of Corpus Christi, Mary lou-I understand a tree just fell on your house? Yes, ma'am. It broke our roof. It's like the branch off a tree. I'm trying to -- can you see? And it came through the window? No. The roof. I mean it came through the roof. It came into your bedroom? Yes. Can you see it? I can. I can. It must be harrowing for your family. I know that you're right in the belly of this storm in the mandatory evacuation zone. What made you decide to stay? Well, my husband is a cancer patient who's battling prostate cancer as we speak, you know. He's also in a wheelchair and has a prosthesis, and it's very hard and very difficult for him to get around. I know you've already shared some earlier video with us with some pretty serious storm damage coming in around your neighborhood. What else are you seeing now? We can't see anything because it is completely dark. And we're boarded up and we closed the doors. So we hear a lot of noises on the outside but we cannot see anything. They're talking about 130-mile-an-hour winds. How does that sound? What does that feel like for you inside your house? Well, we can feel the roaring. And every now and then we can feel a little shake. Have you had seconds shots about your decision to stay? I guess you have no choice. Oh, yes. Absolutely. My husband says we should have left, we should have left. But we didn't leave. So now we've got to make the best of it. Okay. Preserve your battery power there, Mary Lou. We're going to wish you the very best. Keep in touch and be well tonight. Batten down the hatches. Thank you. All right. We're going to go now to Mike Brotherton, who's joining us from Corpus Christi. Mike, how's it going out there? We're surviving right now. At my house we still have electricity. So that's definitely a plus for us. According to reports here from the local news there's probably about 70,000, maybe a little bit more than that, that do not have electricity. So we've been fortunate so far. And you're right at the outskirts of Corpus Christi. What does it sound like? What does it feel like? It's a constant howl out there. You hear the wind, you don't really hear the rain, even though the rain's going on. But the wind's definitely going. You can hear the boards on the house shaking from when we boarded up the windows. I know you also have a 12-year-old daughter Kayla. I sympathize because I'm not sure what I would tell my kids. How has she been handling it? Oh, there she is. Hi, Kayla. She's right here waiting to get on TV. I'd say she's holding up just fine. This must be your first big storm given that you're 12 years old. It's -- it was -- at first I was very nervous about it but it's a little more calming knowing that he's been through several storms and he knows what's going on. But it can't be fun to watch the windows on your house being boarded up. No, it was -- it's very dark. Being boarded up it kind of tells you to brace for the worst. And hope for the best. Well, thanks to both of you, Mike and Kayla, for joining us from Corpus Christi. Good luck tonight, and hopefully you'll be able to weather the storm in peace. Appreciate it. Thank you. All right. Be well. Joining us now is the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, in Austin. Governor, thanks for joining us tonight. It's my pleasure. Thank you. Let's start with the damage assessments that you're getting at this hour. What are you hearing? Well, as you can see, as the storm rolls in it's pretty dramatic. We don't have exact numbers right now because the devastation is happening fairly quickly. I know you asked president trump to declare a major disaster. What's the worst case scenario that you're looking at? Well, the president granted that declaration. And what that means is FEMA has now been triggered to assist Texans in our cities and counties to begin the rebuilding process. That will be of tremendous help. And yet a FEMA administrator said today that the window for evacuation has pretty much closed. What advice are you giving to residents who have decided to shelter in place? They need to have strategies to make sure they stay as safe as possible. They need to be constantly vigilant about rising water. They need to be prepared to be without power and maybe have inadequate access to food and supplies for a couple of days. And you tweeted out a photo

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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