Hurricane Laura: City of Galveston Issues Mandatory Evacuation

Hurricane Laura is on a path to make landfall in between Louisiana and Texas, with the city of Galveston issuing a mandatory evacuation order. According to ABC 13, Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed the evacuation order — which went into effect at 6 a.m. local time — directing all residents to start exiting the island for their own safety. This order came after projections for Laura's path shifted overnight.

Galveston city officials issued a statement, explaining, "Mandatory evacuations will be ongoing throughout the day and early tomorrow, so people have time to secure their properties, businesses, etc. and leave for safety. Residents are NOT required to be off the island by 12 p.m. City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. People should be getting their plans together this morning for an evacuation." Brown added, "With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our resident. It's imperative that you make plans this morning to secure your homes and move you and your family to safety off island."

In addition to the city-wide evacuation, Texas A&M at Galveston has ordered all students to evacuate as well. "Tropical Storm Laura continues to remain a threat to the Texas coast with limited forecast confidence. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the safety of our students, faculty and staff, Texas A&M University at Galveston is issuing a mandatory evacuation." The A&M evacuation was effective immediately on Tuesday when the statement was issued.

The school continued: "The timeline and access to campus is subject to change over the coming days based on weather conditions. Updated information will be published daily. All students, faculty and staff should monitor official communication channels for current information."

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Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall as a category 3 storm. Along with strong winds and rain, it will bring storm surge, which is incredibly concerning for most Gulf-area cities. As the hurricane moves inland, it's strength will decrease, but it is still projected to bring a lot of stormy weather to the Southern and Eastern parts of the U.S.