Hurricane Harvey unleashed its wrath on the small Texas community of Rockport, making landfall there on August 25, and some storm chasers were there.
One of the top storm chasers in Rockport was Jeff Piotrowski, whose Twitter page defines himself as “Emmy Award Winning Storm Chaser over 35 years.”
He posted a series of dramatic videos from Rockport on social media (and tweeted that he was alive and well after a death hoax circulated about him on Twitter). Here are some of his live stream videos from the scene:
At one point, he went live during the eye of the hurricane.
Piotrowski’s storm chasing videos have hundreds of thousands of views collectively.
He streamed live from Rockport for hours.
It can’t be underscored how dangerous the conditions were in Rockport, and there is great risk to being there. The hurricane reached the coast as a Category 4, according to The National Weather Service, with wind speeds of 130 mph. At about 11:30 p.m., according to CNN, the town found itself in the hurricane’s eye, a brief respite.
There were reports of buildings being damaged and, according to ABC News, 10 injuries, but some accounts were unconfirmed as it was too dangerous to assess most damage. Social media reports said the high school building was gone, but authorities did confirm to local news reporters that those accounts were inaccurate, although the building was partially collapsed (but not fully destroyed). There were reports that the roof was blown off a senior living complex and other buildings.
The National Weather Service reported on August 25, “Hurricane Harvey officially made landfall just northeast of Corpus Christi on Friday night as a Category 4. Dangerous storm surge and extreme winds are impacting the Texas coast. Harvey will bring multiple days of heavy rainfall to a large part of Texas, increasing the likelihood of devastating inland flooding. Check your local forecast for updates and abide by instructions from local authorities.”
You can read updated information about Hurricane Harvey from the National Weather Service here.
Read an updated weather forecast for Rockport, Texas here.
The National Weather Service local statement for Rockport read, “HARVEY NOW AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE.”
The Rockport/Fulton area of Texas calls itself the “charm of the Texas coast.”
“Charm of the Texas Coast! Located along the Texas Tropical Trail, and a significant stop along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, these twin communities are nestled among the wind-swept oaks of the Live Oak Peninsula,” its tourism website says. It’s 2016 population was just over 10,000 people.