WASHINGTON- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday told Lone Star State residents living in the path of Hurricane Harvey to obey evacuation orders after some residents said they did not plan to leave.
“I am strongly urging all Texans in Harvey’s path to heed warnings and evacuation orders from local officials before this storm makes landfall,” Abbott said in a statement.
“My office is coordinating local, state and federal resources to prepare for and respond decisively to this storm,” he said.
Abbott on Thursday evening put 700 Texas National Guard members on stand-by for emergency assistance. A day earlier Abbott designated the 30 counties in the storm’s path as disaster areas.
Local officials on Thursday afternoon commenced evacuation orders and thousands have been leaving the area.
Harvey is considered a Category 2 storm as of this morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Center said the storm upon impact, which is expected late-Friday evening, could be upgraded to Category 3 within a few hours. There could be up to 35 inches of rain in parts of the state.
Harvey is expected to cause severe damage in Houston as well as other areas of the Gulf Coast.
Abbott told Texans to cover “doors and windows with plywood” as well as to deactivate gas and electricity lines.
First Lady Melania Trump in a Friday morning Tweet offered her prayers and support for residents living in the storm’s path.
For those living near the path of #HurricaneHarvey stay safe! Thoughts & prayers of an entire country are with you.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 25, 2017
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 25, 2017