National Hurricane Center: Rainfall from Harvey will cause 'life-threatening' flooding

Empty store shelves in Houston.
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Harvey, now a Category 1 with 85 mph winds, is gaining strength, and by the time it hits the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, it's expected to be a Category 3, with winds of at last 111 mph, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday night.

Harvey could make landfall in Corpus Christi, where Mayor Joe McComb has issued a voluntary evacuation order; it is now about 250 miles southeast of the city, moving 10 mph. Traffic is backed up going out of Corpus Christi, as residents try to leave before the storm, and the shelves at many grocery stores are empty, CNN reports.

Rainfall from Harvey "will cause devastating and life-threatening flooding," the National Hurricane Center said, as it will likely linger over the state. Forecasters are expecting Harvey to bring 15 to 25 inches of rain along the Texas coast and may cause flooding in Louisiana as well as Texas. The last hurricane to make landfall in Texas was Ike in 2008; 21 people died in the storm.

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