Five hours after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas around 10 p.m. as a Category 4 storm, it was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, a decrease from 130 mph when it made landfall.
And Harvey was downgraded to a Category 3 storm around 1 a.m., after winds decreased to 125 mph.
Harvey also made a second landfall on the northeastern shore of Copano Bay around the time it was downgraded to Category 3.
The storm is the strongest to hit the state in decades, with catastrophic flooding expected. The last Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. was Charley in 2004 in Florida, while the last Category 4 storm to hit Texas was Carla in 1961.
Residents staying in the area frantically stocked up on food, water and gas, while others heading out of the storm’s path boarded up windows and doors of their homes and businesses.
Airlines canceled flights, schools were shuttered while concerts and other planned events in Houston and coastal cities were postponed.
The hurricane’s effects are expected to linger for days, with heavy rainfall through next week estimated to be as high as 40 inches in some areas.
“This is going to be a storm we talk about, unfortunately, for at least the next seven days,” ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee said Friday on “GMA.”
Here’s what we know about the storm.
Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane over the northern end of San Jose Island between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor at 10 p.m. local time Friday, with sustained winds of about 130 mph and stronger gusts, according to the National Weather Service. At the time, the storm’s eye was 30 miles away from the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The National Weather Service warned Harvey could bring a potentially devastating storm surge, heavy rainfall and wind hazards to the Lone Star State’s coast. A tornado watch is in effect for areas of southeastern Texas and southwest Louisiana.
Life-threatening storm surge waters could reach 9 to 13 feet above ground level. Catastrophic flooding is expected across parts of the area. And rainfall will be heavy, with an estimated 15 to 30 inches of rain falling in many areas and as high as 40 inches in some from today through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
Here’s a projected timeline for Hurricane Harvey thus far, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service:
Saturday: Harvey roared ashore late Friday evening. The storm’s path going forward remains uncertain but it is forecast to meander near or just inland of the middle of the Texas coast through the weekend.
Sunday through Monday: Some forecast models show Harvey expanding across the Gulf Coast as it makes its way over southern Texas.
Tuesday through Wednesday: The hurricane could, according to some models, move northeast and then re-emerge briefly over the Gulf of Mexico before making a second landfall in northeastern Texas or western Louisiana.