Galveston issues mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Laura

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City of Galveston residents are ordered to evacuate Galveston Island ahead of Hurricane Laura, which is expected to have hurricane-force winds by the time it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast.

Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed the order early Tuesday morning after a new forecast from the National Hurricane Center showed Laura’s track shift west toward Texas. The storm should make landfall late Wednesday night as a major hurricane, according to NHC.

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Once winds reach tropical-storm strength, Galveston police and firefighters will not respond to calls for service.

“With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our residents,” 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.”

The city will suspend municipal services Tuesday at noon.

The entirety of Galveston County, as well as coastal communities to the east toward Louisiana, is under a hurricane watch as Laura approaches.