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URGENT! Hurricane Harvey Approaching Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s ‘Astounding’ Strength CAT 4 Will Bring ‘Life-Threatening’ Flooding To Texas And Louisiana. Coastal cities in Texas begin evacuating. In Corpus Christi, where Harvey could 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.
"Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge and possible hurricane conditions to portions of the Texas coast beginning Friday," the National Weather Service said.
"Those conditions can happen far away from the landfall," hurricane specialist John Cangialosi said Thursday afternoon.
People shouldn't focus on where the eye will come ashore but should listen to local authorities and be prepared for rain through the weekend and possibly into next week, he added.