Tropical Storm Harvey Is Headed Toward The Gulf Coast

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksAugust 23, 2017 7:53 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A tropical storm that had dissipated may redevelop Wednesday and head toward the Texas Gulf Coast. Texans could feel the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey as soon as Thursday evening.

“The main threat is probably going to be some potentially very heavy rainfall with possibly coastal flooding. If you haven’t already prepped your hurricane kit, this might be a good time to run over to the store. Stock up on items that you might need in case the electricity is out for a while or you can’t drive around,” says Jason Lichter, a meteorologist in the Houston/Galveston office of the National Weather Service.

Lichter also says Gulf Coast residents should also monitor the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center for updates on the storm’s strength and path.

At a time when many oil and gas companies are high on American shale oil, one major player is getting out of the business. Australian energy company BHP Billiton announced yesterday it would sell its onshore American holdings.

Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik has more:

BHP’s CEO Andrew Mackenzie announced the move in an earnings call.

“We have classified our onshore U.S. as ‘non-core,” he says

Mackenzie says the company will be “patient” as it considers how to sell off its oil holdings – much of them located across Texas.

“There is a definite risk to their entire Houston-based business,” says Jeff Quigley, an analyst with Houston firm Stratas Advisors.

Research from the Houston Business-Journal shows the company has about 1,600 employees at its Galleria headquarters. It’s not clear what will happen to those people – BHP didn’t respond to a question on that – but Quigley says even if the company slowly leaves the oil business, the employment implications will be “huge.”

More broadly, he says the move shows how diversified companies that aren’t focused on oil – or at least their investors – are fed up with low prices.

“I think it does indicate that the big guys see opportunities elsewhere,” says Quigley.

Analysts say other companies might be most excited about getting their hands on BHP’s acreage in West Texas.

A baseball team from Lufkin will try to take another step toward a Little League World Series crown Wednesday. The Lufkin nine are undefeated so far in the annual tournament held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

They’ve beaten clubs from Michigan and Connecticut. But Wednesday’s game could be their biggest challenge yet.

They’ll play against a team from North Carolina that has yet to give up a single hit in the tournament, much less a run. The winner will advance to the tournament semi-finals.

The Lufkin Little Leaguers will take the field at 6:30 central time in Williamsport.