City of Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown has issued a voluntary evacuation for residents living in low-lying areas and west of the end of the Seawall in advance of Tropical Storm Laura, effective 1 p.m. Monday.
There is still a high degree of uncertainty regarding the track and strength of this storm, and residents should be aware changes could occur quickly, necessitating a mandatory evacuation of the island as early as tonight or tomorrow morning depending on developments in the storm.
The latest update from the National Weather Service predicts Tropical Storm Laura will develop into a Category 2 hurricane and track to the upper Texas Coast or southwest Louisiana, making landfall Wednesday night. There is potential for the storm to track closer to Galveston, but there are still many uncertainties. However, it is increasingly apparent that Galveston is likely to feel the effects of the storm, including wind, rain and potential flooding.
Given the potential for storm surge and high winds up to 100 mph, the City of Galveston has determined it is in the best interest of residents to issue a voluntary evacuation of the west end and low-lying areas. We urge our residents living in these areas to make preparations to leave. Higher than normal tides ahead of the storm may make some roads impassable so it is important to act quickly and carefully. Additionally, if you do not live or work in Galveston, we urge you to return to your home. The City is also contacting RV parks to close their premises and have RV guests vacate.
The City of Galveston is working with local nursing homes and assisted living centers to transport their residents to safety. If you have special needs or concerns or you are medically-dependent on power, now is the time to make preparations and find a safe place to stay off the island.
Again, the track of this storm could change quickly and we urge all residents to have a plan in place in case of evacuation. We recommend residents prepare their homes for high winds and secure any loose items on their property. Stay connected and pay attention for local updates as the storm progresses. If residents have questions concerning any aspect of the approaching storm, please call Galveston’s emergency operations center at 409-765-3710.