Harvey first made landfall over San Jose Island and then near Rockport, in south-central Texas, late Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, threatening millions of residents with 130-mph winds, heavy rains, and a massive storm surge that swamped coastal areas. Harvey made landfall three times in six days.
Causing about $125 billion in damage, Hurricane Harvey ranks as the second-most costly hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 1900. Adjusting for inflation, only $160-billion Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused more damage than Harvey.
The storm dumped more than 27 trillion gallons of rain over Texas, making Harvey the wettest Atlantic hurricane ever measured. Some parts of Houston received more than 50 inches of rainfall — so much that the National Weather Service had to update the colors it uses on its weather charts to properly account for it. With one-third of Houston completely flooded, the weight of the water also sank the city temporarily by two centimeters (almost an inch), according to a California geophysicist.