City of Galveston orders mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Laura

List of places with evacuation orders in the Houston area

A close-up view of the National Hurricane Center's forecast track of Hurricane Laura at the time of predicted landfall -- sometime late Wednesday into Thursday morning. Valid Tuesday evening (8/25) (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

GALVESTON, Texas – A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the city of Galveston ahead of Hurricane Laura.

Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed a mandatory evacuation Tuesday which instructs residents to leave the island and suspends city services at noon on Tuesday.

“Overnight models shifted the landfall of Hurricane Laura westward,” according to the evacuation order from the city.

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, the order states.

From the KSAT Weather Authority: Hurricane Laura sets sights on Texas/Louisiana coast

Galveston officials cited “the uncertainty of the path and the heightened intensity of this storm, as well as the track westward overnight” as the reasons for issuing the mandatory evacuation order.

“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.”

San Antonio nursing home takes in evacuees from Galveston fleeing Hurricane Laura

Police and fire service 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, city leaders said.

Other places that have evacuation orders in place include:

  • Chambers County - “Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia has issued a Voluntary Evacuation Order, specifically targeted at residents whose homes are in low-lying or flood prone areas, or those whose homes have flooded during recent high-rain events,” according to the Chambers County Emergency Management Facebook page.
  • Galveston County - Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a disaster declaration for the area ahead of Hurricane Laura, according to KPRC. Galveston County has issued a voluntary evacuation for the Bolivar Peninsula.
  • Jefferson County - A mandatory evacuation order was issued Monday night and went into effect at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Orange County - City Officials called for a mandatory evacuation for all of Orange County at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Port Arthur - Mayor issued a mandatory evacuation for the City of Port Arthur at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Seabrook - Mayor Thom Kolupski issued a voluntary evacuation order for Seabrook residents in low-lying areas, specifically lower Todville from Red Bluff south to SH 146 and Baywood Drive, according to city officials.