Hurricane Winds and Flooding Expected in Houston

Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit South Texas, including Houston and the Gulf Coast, tonight or tomorrow morning, and it may remain in place for days. Harvey will be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in almost 12 years. This could be one of the worst weather-related disasters in recent history. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and other parts of the region in 2005, came ashore as a Category 3, but Harvey is a Category 4 and may retain that strength and speed when it makes landfall.

Even if it's "only" a Category 3, Harvey's winds could exceed 100 miles per hour, and 10 to 15 inches of rain — or up to 40 inches in some locations — coupled with a storm surge from the Gulf, will almost certainly cause major floods in Corpus Christi, Houston, and other cities as far north and east as Baton Rouge, LA.

Hurricane Harvey 2017. Image from the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (

A report on describes the potentially catastrophic damage:

Category 4 winds will tear walls and roofs off well-built frame houses, snap or uproot most trees and tear down power lines and poles, causing outages that can last for week and sometimes months, according to the National Hurricane Center. Many people may find themselves isolated due to debris and flooding.

Harvey Will Affect Fuel Prices and Freight Transportation

Those who live or work near the expected path of this are being advised to evacuate and/or seek shelter in a safe location, and to follow instructions from emergency management personnel. Meanwhile, oil refineries and drilling platforms are also located in the hurricane's path, as are several seaports and the Houston Ship Channel, so analysts expect an impact on fuel prices and cargo transportation, respectively, according to Bloomberg.

DAT load board history shows that freight movements typically pause before and during a major storm, both into and out of the affected area, as emergency supplies are staged in markets that are just outside the storm's path. After the storm passes, those emergency supplies, including food, medical supplies, and consumer goods, are usually rushed to the area. In subsequent weeks and months, flatbed trucks bring in heavy equipment and materials to rebuild.

How You Can Help, or Ask for Help

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) alerted its members that they can provide — or request — support by contacting American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) which helps to find emergency warehouse space, transportation, and material handling equipment. Contact Kathy Fulton, ALAN executive director, at 863.668.4238 or Enable JavaScript to view protected content..

Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.