Power lines are particularly susceptible to strong winds like the predicted 125 mile per hour gusts from Hurricane Harvey.
Power lines are particularly susceptible to strong winds like the predicted 125 mile per hour gusts from Hurricane Harvey.
Photo by Mike Fisher

More Than 1 Million Texans Could Lose Power

At least 1.25 million Texans could lose power as Hurricane Harvey barrels into the Gulf Coast.

The estimate comes from Texas A&M’s College of Geoscience Hurricane Outage Prediction model, which uses data from the National Hurricane Center — like eye location and wind speed — to make its predictions.

Based on the model’s findings, residents along the middle and south Texas coasts in cities like Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Victoria have a better than 50 percent chance of losing power. Houston fares a little better, with about a 25 percent chance of power outages.

Strong winds are a likely indicator of power failure, and as Harvey builds toward the Gulf Coast, with gusts up to 125 miles per hour — and possibly higher — power lines might see significant damage.

The storm is currently scheduled to land near Rockport outside of Corpus Christi late Friday or early Saturday.

The 1.25 million figure is only a prediction, but the team at Texas A&M estimated that 8 to 10 million people would lose power before Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The final count? 8.5 million.

Notably, the storms the model has tracked in the past have not featured the type of heavy, sustained rainfall expected of Harvey. Predictions are mostly based on wind speed, meaning the amount of people without power could be even higher.

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