The last Category 4 storm to hit the USA was Hurricane Charley in August 2004 in Florida.
The last Category 3 storm to pummel the US was Hurricane Wilma, which struck Florida in 2005.
Warnings and watches lined the Texas coast on Friday.
An estimated 1,100 to 2,000 people died, most as a result of the storm surge.
They say Harvey could remain in the area, dumping rain until the middle of next week.
Hurricane Harvey has made landfall in Texas between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, after swiftly gathering strength over the Gulf of Mexico.
"At this time, the City's water supply is extremely limited". The ferry to the barrier island was expected to cease operations on Friday morning.
The storm surged ashore at about 10 p.m Friday northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas as a Category 4 with 130 miles per hour winds - the strongest hurricane to sock the US since Wilma in 2005.
As a Category 4 storm, the eye of the hurricane passed just south of the Florida Keys, an archipelago off the southern coast of Florida, before striking the Gulf Coast in Texas as a Category 3. The city warned its residents that it could face up to 20 inches of rain over the next several days. The Carnival Valor and Carnival Freedom, which planned to return to Galveston on Friday, will instead sail to New Orleans, according to the Houston Chronicle. "Please don't put our public safety officers at risk".
"Right now, it appears that the Houston area will be spared the brunt of the hurricane force and the surge that goes along with it", said Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference.
First responders are yet to assess the impact that the extremely powerful hurricane has caused over Texas in the first hours since landfall but forecasters have said it will be devastating and leave areas "uninhabitable for weeks or months". The NHC said it expected heavy rainfall and storm surge to cause catastrophic flooding.
Damage was also reported in the neighboring Aranas Pass area. The hurricane also impacted parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma and IL. 4 Hurricane #Harvey as it nears landfall.
Jose Rengel, a 47-year-old who works in construction, said he was one of the few people in Jamaica Beach in Galveston that did not heed a voluntary evacuation order. "There's certainly someone at the helm".
People watching from the rest of the world may feel helpless, but there are ways to get involved and help the victims of this massive storm.
In Kelly, she said, there is "no better chief of staff for the president during the hurricane season". The storm could also cause lots of economic damage as it is striking a region that has lots of refineries that process five million barrels of oil per day. He said power had been cut to his own home overnight. Ike left damages of $22 billion.
Abbott in turn activated more than 1,000 National Guardsmen to help with evacuation and recovery.