You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Today, we’re focusing on the effects of Hurricane Harvey (now a tropical storm).
3 miles per hour
Tropical Storm Harvey is very slowly creeping back toward the Gulf of Mexico. But it was moving at only three miles per hour as of early Monday, so Southeast Texas, where Harvey made landfall, is still in danger. At least five deaths, and many more injuries, have been attributed to the storm. [Dallas Morning News, The New York Times]
50 inches of rain
With Harvey expected to remain around Southeast Texas for the next several days, cumulative rainfall in isolated parts of Texas could reach 50 inches. This would be the highest ever recorded in the state. The National Weather Service is describing the storm’s effects as unprecedented. [The Washington Post, NWS]
15 to 25 inches of rain
Additional rain forecasted to fall in the Houston area through Friday. [KHOU]
As of Sunday, 18 counties in Texas were covered by the federal disaster declaration. Nearly 7 million of the state’s 27.8 million residents live in those counties. Fifty counties have been declared state disaster zones. [The Associated Press]
56,000 calls to 911
The city of Houston had received some 56,000 calls to 911 as of mid-day Sunday. Houston did not issue an evacuation order — it was decided that moving the 6.5 million people who live in the metro area by roads one day ahead of a major hurricane was unrealistic, and risked greater loss of life than the alternative. [The Daily Beast, The Atlantic]
About 9 trillion gallons
Harvey isn’t finished, but that was the estimated rainfall in Southeast Texas and the greater Houston area as of 12 p.m. Sunday. If it were all collected, you’d have a cube of water two miles wide and two miles tall. [The Washington Post]
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