Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast on Friday, August 25, 2017, as a category 4 storm with winds of up to 130 miles per hour, making it the most powerful storm to hit the mainland US in more than a decade. The downpour and subsequent flooding paralysed Houston, the fourth-largest city in the US. As people waded through chest-high waters, the city turned its main convention centre into a shelter, evoking memories of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when breached levees in New Orleans stranded tens of thousands of people in squalid conditions at that city’s football stadium. Just as Katrina dealt a body blow to the presidency of George W. Bush, Harvey emerged as perhaps the first major test for President Donald Trump.
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