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As Hurricane Laura continues to track toward the Texas and Louisiana coasts as a major hurricane, several communities in Texas have issued evacuation orders.
The storm was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane Tuesday morning. According to the latest National Hurricane Center morning advisory, it was recorded as having maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
According to the latest NHC update, Laura is forecast to approach the Upper Texas and Southwest Louisiana coasts on Wednesday night and move inland near those areas on Thursday.
In alphabetical order, here’s which areas have issued evacuation orders and which ones are mandatory.
The City of Baytown recommended a voluntary evacuation of ZIP codes 77520 and 77523 on Aug. 24.
Brazoria County is currently under a voluntary evacuation order for low-lying coastal communities outside the protection levee.
Chambers County issued a voluntary evacuation order on Aug. 24, recommending that residents who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas leave the area.
Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed a mandatory evacuation that went into effect on Aug. 25 at 6 a.m. City buildings will close and various city services, including sanitation, will be suspended at noon.
“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,” the statement says.
Galveston County also issued a voluntary evacuation order for Bolivar Peninsula, strongly encouraging the elderly and those with medical conditions to leave the area.
Jeff R. Branick, County of Judge of Jefferson County, signed a mandatory evacuation order that went into effect on the morning of Aug. 25, remaining in force for 10 days.
Only a handful of employees of various professions are exempt from the county-wide order.
City of Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman issued a voluntary evacuation on Aug 24. The order recommends that the communities’ most vulnerable residents leave the area.
Orange County’s mandatory evacuation order went into effect on Aug. 25.
“Citizens who cannot evacuate themselves can find transportation resources at either of the two embarkation sites in the county,” the county posted on Facebook.
The two locations are Lamar State College-Orange, 410 Front Street in Orange and Vidor Elementary, 400 Old Hwy 90 E in Vidor.
Port Arthur is part of Jefferson County, but Mayor Thurman Bartie issued an urgent mandatory evacuation on Aug. 26.
All city residents were urged to depart without any further delay due to the heightened intensity of Hurricane Laura. Once the storm makes landfall, the city said there would be no access to emergency services for an undetermined amount of time.
Any Port Arthur residents who may need to be taken somewhere safe should call 409-983-8767 or 409-548-3316 to arrange pickup, the city said.
Mayor Thom Kolupski issued a voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas of the community. The area is under a hurricane and storm surge watch for the area.
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