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Wanted: Memories of Hurricane Harvey

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Posted at 11:33 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 12:33:58-04

Do you have a personal story to share about Hurricane Harvey? If so, students with UL Lafayette’s History Department would like to talk to you.

The students have been conducting oral interviews as part of a class project creating a history of the hurricane. They have been working on collecting data in 12 parishes, from Acadia to Vernon, that were declared federal disaster zones in Louisiana from the storm.

Interviewers from UL’s History Department will be coming to the Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market, located at Bayou Carlin Cove, on Saturday, November 2 from 9a-1p to hear stories from Iberia Parish.

The compilation of oral interviews, which end November 10, will be used to construct a mobile exhibit in the Department of History’s Museum on the Move Airstream trailer.

According to the National Weather Service website, Hurricane Harvey started as a tropical wave off the African coast on Sunday, August 13, 2017 and tracked westward across the Atlantic and on August 17th become a tropical storm which moved into the Caribbean Sea where Harvey become disorganized. Harvey was then downgraded to a tropical wave which entered the Gulf of Mexico on the 22nd. On the morning of the 23rd, Harvey was upgraded again to tropical depression as the Bay of Campeche and the Western Gulf of Mexico had very warm waters. Over the next 48 hours Harvey would undergo a period of rapid intensification from a tropical depression to a category 4 hurricane. Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast near Port Aransas around 10:00 p.m. on August 25th as a cat 4 and brought devastating impacts. As Harvey moved inland, it’s forward motion slowed to near 5mph after landfall and then meandered just north of Victoria, TX by the 26th. Rain bands on the eastern side of the circulation of Harvey moved into southeast Texas on the morning of the 25th and continued through much of the night and into the 26th. A strong rainband developed over Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties during the evening hours of the 26th and spread into Harris County and slowed while training from south to north. This resulted in a rapid development of flash flooding between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. as tremendous rainfall rates occurred across much of Harris County. The morning of the 27th saw additional rain bands continued to develop and produced additional excessive rainfall amounts. As the center of Harvey slowly moved east-southeast and back offshore heavy rainfall continued to spread through much of the 29th and the 30th exacerbating the ongoing widespread and devastating flooding. All of this rainfall caused catastrophic drainage issues and made rivers rise greatly. Only around 10 percent of the river forecast points in southeast Texas remained below flood stage due to the event, and approximately 46 percent of the river forecast points reached new record levels. Harvey maintained tropical storm intensity the entire time while inland over the Texas coastal bend and southeast Texas. After moving offshore, Harvey made a third landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana on the morning of the 30th and brought more heavy rainfall to the Northern Gulf States.