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Hurricane Harvey Makes Landfall Near Corpus Christi, Tex.

Texas Medical Center, one of the largest medical complexes in the world, is in Houston, and officials there awaited the worst with a full complement of patients on site. “We are hunkered down,” said William McKeon, the center’s president and chief executive, speaking by phone from his office as the hurricane made landfall about 200 miles southwest of the city.In nearby coastal Galveston, about 120 patients remained at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Jennie Sealy Hospital on Friday night, said Chris Smith-Gonzalez, a media relations officer. The hospital opened last year and was “built to withstand a significant hurricane,” he said, after Hurricane Ike caused severe damage to the former medical campus in 2008.Refineries in the Houston and Beaumont-Port Arthur areas, both nerve centers for the nation’s energy industry, shut down operations in preparation for the storm, sending jitters through global energy markets.To be called a major storm, a hurricane must be Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which means winds of 111 to 129 m.p.h. Those winds can bring devastating damage, stripping off roof decking and bringing down many trees. Ike was a Category 2, though it pushed a monster storm surge. Sandy, despite the devastation it caused, had become what is known as a post-tropical storm before it made landfall.Forecasters emphasized that it was not just the wind that made Harvey dangerous. Storm surge, the water that a hurricane pushes ahead of it, can be tremendously destructive. Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in United States history, inflicted much of its harm in 2005 in New Orleans through the surge, which overwhelmed the area’s faulty levees.VideoHow Are Hurricane Categories Defined?Wind speed, types of damage and power loss all factor into how a hurricane category is ranked.By DREW JORDAN and CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish Date August 25, 2017.Photo by Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times.Watch in Times Video »embed The sense of anxiety and confusion that preceded landfall was exacerbated Friday by mixed messages from state and local officials. The conflicting views from the Republican governor and the Democratic mayor of Houston reflected the tension that has come to define much of Texas politics.Continue reading the main storyAt an afternoon news conference, Gov. Greg Abbott strongly urged Houstonians to consider evacuating […]

California Today: California Today: Are We Undercounting the Homeless?

Supported byU.S.California Today: Are We Undercounting the Homeless?PhotoA homeless camp under a freeway in downtown Oakland last week.Credit Jim Wilson/The New York TimesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)Today’s introduction comes from Thomas Fuller, the San Francisco bureau chief.Is California’s homeless crisis much worse than the official data show?A study released last week makes the case that the federal government undercounts homelessness in California’s largest cities by more than 25 percent.Using the estimates in the study, Los Angeles has 60,000 homeless, not 47,000, and San Francisco has 9,000 homeless, not 7,000, according to the research, which used 2016 data.Continue reading the main storyThe study is important, experts say, because it could provide justification for greater federal funding for programs that address homelessness.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyThe federal government measures homelessness by commissioning teams that spread out through cities, counting the homeless at a particular point in time, often in a single night.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyCalifornia TodayThe news and stories that matter to Californians (and anyone else interested in the state). Sign up to get it by email.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.The authors of the new study point to research showing that this way of counting is particularly unreliable for counting homeless who are not in shelters — as is often the case in California — and the research uses a statistical model to estimate what it calls the “true” number of homeless.The study was led by Chris Glynn, a statistician at the University of New Hampshire, and was sponsored and initiated by the real estate data company Zillow.An expert on homelessness who was not involved in the study, Dennis P. […]

Maritime Mystery: Why a U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship

Rather than cut engines, assess the damage and look for ways to assist, the Crystal quickly resumed its former course, steaming toward Tokyo harbor for a half-hour before suddenly executing a U-turn and returning to the crash site — as if the ship’s crew had belatedly realized what had happened.Continue reading the main storyInvestigators have spent the past week surveying the damage, reviewing logs, recovering electronic records — a “black box” aboard the Crystal and stored radar data from the Fitzgerald — and interviewing crew members. There should also be an audio recording from the bridge of the destroyer, like the harrowing tape of a 2012 collision between a different destroyer, the Porter, and an oil tanker, in which no one was injured.Under strict orders not to talk about what they saw that night, the crew of the Fitzgerald is mostly keeping its counsel while grieving the loss of its shipmates. But one sailor, contacted via social media, offered what may endure as an epitaph for the accident.“All I can say is,” the sailor wrote to The New York Times, “somebody wasn’t paying attention.”On Friday, Rear Adm. Brian Fort, a veteran warship commander, was ordered to lead the Navy’s main investigation of the collision. The multiple investigations now underway — two by the Navy, one by the United States Coast Guard, others by the Japanese Coast Guard and the Crystal’s insurers — will probably provide answers. But even if the Crystal crew was asleep, Navy veterans say the far more maneuverable Fitzgerald will likely bear much of the blame.“This is the kind of thing the Navy is brutally honest about,” said Bryan McGrath, who commanded a destroyer in the Atlantic from 2004 to 2006. “To the extent that the Fitzgerald did anything wrong, we’ll find out all about it, and there will be consequences.”The two ships now sit in ports a short drive apart on the coast south of Tokyo, the 9,000-ton, $1.5 billion Fitzgerald at Yokosuka naval base, its home port, and the 29,000-ton Crystal at Yokohama.The Fitzgerald has a section of its starboard side caved in, where the Crystal smashed directly into Commander Benson’s stateroom, tearing it open and leaving him injured. Sailors had to bend back the door of his cabin to free him and get him inside the ship, the United States Naval Institute News reported. Beneath the water line, the container ship’s flared bow also tore a large gash in the destroyer’s hull, officials said.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyGet the Morning Briefing by EmailWhat you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.As seawater poured in, some 116 crew members were asleep in two flooded berthing rooms. […]

California Today: California Today: Hollywood’s Comeback

Supported byU.S.California Today: Hollywood’s ComebackPhotoThe view from behind the Hollywood sign of the neighborhood where once-forgotten soundstages are thriving again.Credit Chad Ress for The New York TimesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)Today’s introduction is by Brooks Barnes, our Hollywood reporter based in Los Angeles.Five years ago, there was no sadder stretch of Hollywood, the neighborhood, than the one left for dead by Hollywood, the industry.Soundstages at Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue looked as though they had not been updated in decades, perhaps since Warner Bros […]

Paleontologists discover lost ecosystem off the coast of southern California

The ecosystem had thrived for thousands of years but collapsed less than two centuries ago. […]

Britain installs world’s largest wind turbines in new offshore wind farm

The huge turbines are taller than London’s Gherkin skyscraper. […]

Florida manatees can survive for at least another century

In great news for manatees, researchers predict that the gentle ‘sea cows’ will endure for at least another 100 years as long as threats continue to be managed. […]