Hurricane Harvey strengthens to Category 3 storm as alerts issued

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-26 06:48:51|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Harvey has intensified into a powerful Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds reaching 120 mph (193 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Friday.

The storm, poised to become the first hurricane rated Category 3 or higher to hit the United States in a dozen years, would make landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas state, around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. CDT (0100-0200 GMT), according to forecasters.

Harvey is predicted to cause significant rainfall and flooding in some areas along the state's coastline.

"The Harvey is a dangerous, life-threatening storm," tweeted the National Weather Service Friday afternoon.

"Millions of people from Corpus Christi to Houston will get two or more feet of rain when all is done with southern Louisiana getting up to a foot of rain," the agency said.

It also warned that residents to the north and northeast of Harvey's eye may experience tornadoes.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to visit Texas sometime early next week.

Trump told reporters before leaving the White House on Friday for Camp David that "They're going to be safe. Good luck to everybody."

Vice President Mike Pence will stay in the capital to monitor the storm while coordinating with the president, a spokesman said.

"This is s serious storm, as you've seen from the reporting," Tom Bossert, Trump's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, said in a White House briefing.

He also mentioned Trump is considering signing a disaster declaration.