Hurricane Harvey: Evacuations Begin in Texas

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TEXAS COAST  – As Hurricane Harvey gains strength, residents along the Texas coast aren’t taking any chances; they’re filling sandbags, stocking up on water and boarding up windows.

In Corpus Christi, where Harvey will likely make landfall and Mayor Joe McComb has issued a voluntary evacuation order, Walmart shelves were clearing quickly, as the city canceled Friday’s dockets in city court and provided self-serve sandbags to residents.

Port Aransas on Mustang Island and nearby Portland issued mandatory evacuation orders. Houston, meanwhile, has canceled the first day of school on Monday.

Harvey is rapidly strengthening and is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph by the time it hits the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, the hurricane center said Thursday. After hitting Corpus Christi, the storm is expected to stall over the state, forecasters say.

Hurricane-force winds are a concern as the storm builds strength in the Gulf of Mexico, and a potential deluge and subsequent flooding may be a big danger as well, according to meteorologists.

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“Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge and possible hurricane conditions to portions of the Texas coast beginning on Friday,” the National Weather Service said.

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Original story:
HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) – Texans are filling sandbags, stocking up on water and boarding up windows ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey, a system that could develop into a hurricane by Friday.

The system, which weakened before reaching tropical storm status early Thursday, is expected to make landfall Friday evening as a Category 3 storm along the middle Texas coast, then stall over the state, the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday morning.

“Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge, and possible hurricane conditions to portions of the Texas coast beginning on Friday,” the weather service said.

Ten to 20 inches of rain could fall through next week from Texas’ Gulf Coast toward Houston and into San Antonio, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass, with a storm surge watch stretching north to High Island, on Galveston Bay.

Harvey would be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008, when Hurricane Ike smashed the coast near Galveston. The storm killed 21 people in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and caused widespread destruction.

(CNN)

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