Evacuation orders were issued for more than 300,000 Texans across two East Texas counties in preparation for Hurricane Laura’s impact. Orders to evacuate were also issued in Louisiana. Governors of both Texas and Louisiana declared states of disaster in anticipation of the storm.
Experts believe Hurricane Laura could make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane. Many areas along the Texas Gulf Coast issued mandatory evacuation orders on Tuesday morning, including Galveston, Texas.
“Today is the day. The weather is still nice here in Galveston. This is the day for everybody to get their belongs together and, for the safety of themselves and their family, to go ahead and evacuate today. Do not wait,” Galveston Mayor Craig Brown told The Weather Channel.
Judge Jeff Branick, who presides in Jefferson County, issued a mandatory evacuation order for the county on Tuesday. The order exempts essential workers – including government and hospital workers. More than 250,000 Texans live in Jefferson County.
Orange County, Texas, and Port Arthur, a city situated near the Louisiana state line, also issued mandatory evacuation orders. Officials from Chambers County released voluntary evacuation orders, although these orders strongly urged residents in low-lying or flood-prone areas to leave.
Hurricane Laura has already left at least eleven people in the Caribbean dead on its path towards the Texas coast. Experts predict it will hit regions in Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The good news and the bad news is that Laura is still somewhat unpredictable,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
“This is not Harvey. This is not Imelda. This is not Allison. This is Laura. Every storm is different and we urge folks not to use any prior storm as a template for what could or will happen. What we need to do is prepare for the worst,” said Hidalgo, who is the top official for the county surrounding Houston, Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 23 Texas counties in preparation for the storm. Abbott also requested a federal emergency declaration for those counties, which was granted.
SaveOnEnergy will continue to monitor Hurricane Laura’s impact. For information regarding power outages or further relevant information, see the resources below:
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.