Texans ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Laura approaches

Caitlin Cosper
By Caitlin Cosper
For business

(August 25, 2020)

Hurricane Laura may cause power outages for Texans.

More than 300,000 Texas residents were ordered to evacuate across two East Texas counties as Hurricane Laura approaches. Evacuation orders were also issued in Louisiana and both governors of Texas and Louisiana declared state of disasters in advance of the storms.

Experts predict Hurricane Laura could make landfall as a Category 3 storm. Galveston, Texas, a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast, issued a mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday morning.

“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.

Several Texas counties issue evacuation orders

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick issued mandatory evacuation orders for the county to go into effect on Tuesday. This order does not apply to essential workers – such as those in hospitals and government employees. More than 250,000 residents live in Jefferson County.

Branick told the Beaumont Enterprise that he chose to issue evacuation orders after hearing meteorologists had increased the predicted risk of Hurricane Laura’s impact. The storm will likely impact the power supply for thousands across the Lone Star State.

Mandatory evacuation orders were also issued in Orange County, Texas, and Port Arthur, a city located near the Louisiana state line. Officials from Chambers County released a voluntary evacuation order, urging residents in low-lying or flood-prone regions to heed the order.

Hurricane Laura leaves a destructive path

On its path towards the Texas coast, Hurricane Laura killed at least eleven people in the Caribbean while it was a tropical storm. Experts predict the storm will impact 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.

In preparation for storms Laura and Marco, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott preemptively declared a state disaster for 23 counties, putting resources and emergency personnel on standby. Abbott also requested a federal emergency declaration for those counties, which was approved.

Choose Energy will continue to monitor the storms and will release updates as needed. For more information or resources, see the links 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.

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