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Galveston issues mandatory evacuation, city services to be suspended after Hurricane Laura shifts west

Laura nears hurricane status as it gains strength in the Gulf of Mexico
Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 14:51:33-04

GALVESTON, TX — The City of Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed a mandatory evacuation Tuesday instructing all Galveston residents to begin leaving the island for safety after overnight models shifted the landfall of Hurricane Laura westward.

Hurricane Laura is predicted to make landfall late Wednesday to early Thursday as a Category 3 Major Hurricane.

The landfall is anticipated near the Texas/Louisiana border, according to the latest National Weather Service models. Overnight the track of the storm moved slightly westward toward Galveston.

Given the uncertainty of the path and the heightened intensity of this storm, as well as the track westward overnight, the City of Galveston is issuing a mandatory evacuation for all residents.

The mandatory evacuation was signed and went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Galveston residents should secure loose items at their property and leave the island by 12 p.m. Tuesday.

It is urgent that residents heed this mandatory evacuation and leave with all family members and pets.

“With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our residents,” Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown said. “It’s imperative that you make plans this morning to secure your homes and move you and your family to safety off-island.”

City services will be suspended today at 12 p.m. Sanitation will complete its route this morning and those services will be suspended. City staff will secure city facilities and all city buildings will be closed by Tuesday at 12 p.m.

Police and fire will not be available once winds reach Tropical Storm strength. Those who do not follow the evacuation order should not expect public safety services once conditions worsen.

If you are signed up for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry, the state will begin staging buses at 48th and Broadway at the Island Community Center this morning. Please plan to arrive at this location before 12 p.m. and as soon as possible.

If you are in the STEAR program but do not have a way to get to the community center, please call 409-765-3710 for assistance.

The full text of the order is available here.