State of emergency on Gulf Coast after Harvey hits

The storm destroyed homes and flattened businesses in the coastal town of Rockport.
4:53 | 08/27/17

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Transcript for State of emergency on Gulf Coast after Harvey hits
special edition of "World news tonight" this Saturday. I'm Tom llamas, and we begin tonight with breaking news as we come on the air. Hurricane Harvey, the state of emergency along the gulf coast. Harvey coming to shore in Texas as a category 4. The storm turning deadly. Images of the devastation. You see them there coming in all day. Moments and buildings in ro rockport absolutely destroyed. You can see so many of the structures leveled. Harvey also blamed for several reported tornadoes striking the region, including this one in Cyprus, Texas. And take a look at this video shot overnight as Harvey hit with full force, winds up to 130 miles per hour, debris flying through the air near rockport. At this hour, Harvey downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves inland towards its next target. We do have team coverage. Our crews are positioned throughout the area. We start with ABC's senior national correspondent, Matt Gutman, in rockport, and what's left of the town's high school, Matt? Reporter: This is the high school gym here in rockport. Every single wall has been blown out. It seems as if a tornado has ripped through here. In fact, driving through this town, there's barely a single structure that hasn't suffered some sort of damage and it's not just what you see. It's what you smell as well. There's the distinct odor of gas in the air here, and up and down this coastline, communities devastated tonight. Tonight, Harvey still pummeling Texas with deadly force. Transforming into a category 4 monst:00 monster around 6:00 P.M., Friday, the strongest hurricane to hit the lone star state since 1961. Making landfall just four hours later, packing 130 mile per hour winds, mountainous waves and a wall of storm surge 6 feet. Harvey's lashing winds have weakened into a tropical storm, but its relentless rain hasn't. Over 15 inches of rain in some places. In aransas pass, a police body camera capturing the moment the roof lifted right off this building. Windows shattering at this hair salon in Corpus Christi. Winds snapping power lines, hundreds of thousands losing power. That storm, blowing transformers, fires destroying multiple homes. Today, we drove to one of the hardest hit areas, the coastal town of rockport, just outside Corpus Christi. Storm chasers here overnight, filming buildings ripping apart. Debris blown right in front of them. Then at first light, the scale of the catastrophic damage emerging. Homes obliterated. Businesses gutted. Trees ripped from the ground. Everywhere we drove, power lines dangled over the road. Rvs flipped like toys. The storm surge submerging whole sections of this town of 8,700 people. Almost every building in town damaged as Harvey sank its teeth into rockport. The city's residents, staying could mean death. Those that are going to stay, it's unfortunate but they should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a sharpie pen. Put their social security number on it. Reporter: Many stayed and tonight, police tell us there are hundreds of8homeless here. We found 200 of them clustered in this elementary school. Zach and mashon have banded together to help people out. What else do you need? We need beds, we need blankets, we need water. We need sanitary products. We need oxygen. We need medical supplies. We need a lot of things. Reporter: Inside, eerie darkness and misery. It's eerie walking down the hallway. There are cots everywhere you look. There's food. Obviously, people are making do with what they can, but the darkness certainly gives us an eerie aspect here even though these folks are trying to make it as homey and comfortable as possible. Tonight, the coast guard forging families to stay away. We saw leaving town is not easy. They are driving through a river. This is a four-lane highway. It is quickly being inundated by all this rain and flood water, and north of us is rockport. This entire place may be cut off as these waters rise. Please do not come back into these affected areas until you have got an all clear from our county or city eocs. Reporter: Now pledging to bring the fire power of the federal government to aid the millions in the storm zone. Tom, residents have come here asking us if we have seen FEMA, if we have seen the national Guard. Now officials say it could take months for this community to recover, and the communities around here as well that have been so hard hit. That is how extensive the damage, especially to the infrastructure, has been here, Tom. Matt Gutman, and it appears to be ground zero. Issuing an sos tonight.

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

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