Texas (US): Hurricane Harvey intensified into a Category 2 hurricane overnight Thursday as it moved toward the Texas Coast, prompting officials to issue voluntary and mandatory evacuations of some coastal areas, area school districts to postpone a return to classes and local governments to brace for severe, life-threatening floods.
As Friday morning progressed, the National Weather Service said the coast only had only a handful hours remaining to prepare for the storm. Those opting to shelter in place were urged to hunker down to avoid the tropical storm-force winds.
Forecasters warned of 3 feet of rain, 125-mph winds and 12-foot storm surges. People along the Gulf raced to prepare their homes and even evacuate ahead of impact. The hurricane was expected to become a Category 3 storm, meaning “devastating damage” will occur.
At least seven Texas counties along the coast ordered mandatory or voluntary evacuation on Thursday, including in Corpus Christi, home of about 325,000 people.