One of the worst storms to hit the U.S.; shipments disrupted and catastrophic flooding expected

Catastrophic flooding is expected, with some parts of South Texas getting as much as 4 feet of rain.

Catastrophic flooding is expected, with some parts of South Texas getting as much as 4 feet of rain.

The leading supply-chain weather analytics company, Riskpulse issues updated commentary on Hurricane Harvey. 

At 10 am CT, the eye of Hurricane Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 130 mph with higher gusts making it an official Category 4 at landfall. Structural damage and massive debris has been reported in and around the area where the western and northern eyewall moved onshore.

The first phase of Harvey’s impact to the supply chain was driven by damaging hurricane force winds and catastrophic storm surge.  Shippers to convenience stores in the small town of Rockport, TX know that stores will not reopen anytime soon due to extensive damage.  

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These images courtesy of Riskpulse Sunrise Maps show the path of Harvey (thin red line) as it passed by Rockport, Texas.  The larger red positions are destinations for food, beverage and gasoline deliveries.  These convenience stores bore the brunt of Harvey’s wind and surge.

Now, phase 1 is rapidly drawing to a close but the second phase of this storm is going to be far more catastrophic.  Heavy rain has already begun and flooding will begin making roads impassible as early as tonight and tomorrow.  Flooding is likely to persist for many days and will be catastrophic.  Rainfall totals are still expected to be well over 20” across most of the area between Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.  Some locations could observe 40” of rain.  I-10 and U.S. 59 will become impassible in some places.  82 rivers are currently forecast to reach flood stage over the next five days in the vicinity of these two major shipping corridors.  

According to Stephen Bennett, COO of Riskpulse, "A food and beverage shipper with production facilities in the Houston area is managing over 1000 disrupted shipments between Friday and Wednesday.  Only 33 of these shipments were disrupted due to hurricane winds and storm surge.  Over 97% of disruptions will be driven by flooded roadways, IM Hubs and railways."

The flood potential will cover an extended period of time which starts today and extends through at least Wednesday of next week. 

Now that Harvey has made landfall, the most concerning impacts quickly swing from wind and storm surge to the intense rainfall and anticipated catastrophic flooding. Over the last 24 hrs, much of the central Texas coast has received 4-10” of rain, with the heaviest amounts north of Corpus Christi and in the Victoria, TX area (where Harvey’s center tracked) as well as on the southern side of Houston, where an intense outer band of Harvey established itself for much of Friday evening.

While flooding has been limited in areas away from the coasts up until this point, the flooding risk begins increasing markedly late Saturday night and into Sunday. Rain from a stalled-out Harvey will be most intense between Corpus Christi and Houston, although heavy rainfall will also spread westward along the I-10 corridor and potentially include San Antonio and Austin as well.

Rainfall amounts through next Wednesday are expected to reach into the 20-30 inch range, with some totals as high as 40 inches possible before Harvey clears the area late next week. This will result in extensive catastrophic flooding within the that region.