(Bloomberg) Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on the heart of the U.S. energy sector, forecast to become a Category 3 storm before making landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday.
Oil refiners in the Gulf Coast, home to as much as half of the nation’s refining capacity, began to shutter operations as the storm approached with forecasts warning of heavy rain and top winds of 85 miles (137 kilometers) an hour. If Harvey makes landfall as a Category 3, it will be the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since Wilma in 2005.
“The primary impacts will be from widespread and potentially catastrophic flooding, with total rainfall amounts over the next week exceeding a foot in a large area from Corpus Christi to the Louisiana coast and then up to 100 miles inland from there,” said Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company in Andover, Massachusetts. “Many locations in those areas may exceed two feet. Clearly Houston is at risk for historic rainfall amounts over the next week.”
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