Category 2 Hurricane Harvey has been churning its way toward the gulf off of the east coast of Texas and is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 monster of a storm.
Folks within seven counties are invovled in the mandatory evacuations. Those include: Brazoria County, Calhoun County, Jackson County, Matagorda County, Refugio County, San Patricio County, and Victoria County.
Officials warned that citizens who do not heed the mandatory evacuations could not be guaranteed rescue should they come to need it.
In addition, Mayor Joe McComb advised residents of Corpus Christi to voluntarily evacuate.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported that he had discussed storm preparation with President Trump, as well as with the heads of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The leaders are taking a proactive approach in leading preparations.
Harvey is the largest, strongest hurricane to threaten Texas in nearly 20 years.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting it will hit the east Texas coastline as a Category 3 hurricane around 1 a.m. CDT Saturday.
On top of the damaging 110 mph winds, Harvey could also bring as many as 25 inches of rain and destructive storm surge reaching 6-12 feet above ground level. Isolated areas could get up to 35 inches of rain from now until Wednesday according to the NWS.
Some models, show the storm moving northeast and then re-emerging over the Gulf of Mexico before making a second landfall in northeastern Texas or western Louisiana.
Residents have been clearing shelves in supermarkets, big box stores, and convenience shops in order to have sufficient food and water to last throughout the storm and the possible flooding and power loss that follow.
The Coast Guard is sending vessels to Texas and Louisiana that are able to respond to flooding in urban areas. They have also ordered a nearly total closure of ports in Galveston, Corpus Christi, Houston, Texas City, and Freeport.
FEMA has massive provisions ready for relief. They’ve stocked over 96,000 liters of water, 306,000 meals and 4,500 tarps at support bases in Seguin and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as in Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, should the need arise.
Officials from the NWS and Hurricane Center are expected to facilitate around-the-clock coverage of Hurricane Harvey, its forecasted path and statistics. Anyone in or near the path of Harvey is encouraged to stay informed by checking ready.gov/hurricanes.
Although Harvey is not predicted to have a substantial impact on Florida, it should serve as a reminder to residents of the sunshine state to have plans in order for what is all ready a major storm season.