5 things to know: Irma makes landfall, J.J. Watt fund still growing

IRMA MAKES LANDFALL

Hurricane Irma made its first landfall in the Caribbean early Wednesday. The category 5 storm is rolling toward a string of islands en route to a likely strike on the south Florida coast this weekend. 

Late Wednesday morning, Irma was about 140 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph.

Hurricane Irma is so strong it's showing up on equipment designed to measure earthquakes.

$27 MILLION AND COUNTING

J.J. Watt's Harvey relief fund received another big donation Wednesday morning, boosting the total raised to date to $27 million. 

H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt made a $5 million personal donation to the fund. 

The fund will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 15. Watt hasn't decided yet how the money will be used, but he said he's going to speak with leaders of several charitable organizations and those who helped with Katrina relief before making any decisions. 

CHANGES TO HARRIS CO. CRIMINAL COURT

The Harris County Criminal Justice Center (CJC) at 1201 Franklin will remain closed indefinitely due to flooding and other related damage. This affects all cases in the county’s criminal district courts trying felonies and the county criminal courts-at-law that handle Class A or B misdemeanors.

Temporary criminal court locations are being set up at the Civil Courthouse at 201 Carolina and the Juvenile Justice Center at 1200 Congress.

HOUSE PASSES 1ST ROUND OF HARVEY AID

The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a nearly $7.9 billion recovery aid package Wednesday morning for Texas and Louisiana. It's the first round of federal aid to the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey, and includes $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund. 

The Senate now has to take up a vote on the aid package. That vote may get more complicated if Republican leaders decide to add language raising the nation's debt limit. Some conservatives argue raising the debt limit should be a separate debate from Harvey relief aid.

GEORGE STRAIT BENEFIT CONCERT TICKETS ON SALE

Tickets are now on sale for George Strait's Sept. 12 benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. The performance is part of Hand in Hand, a one-hour special that will air on CBS, ABC, CMT, FOX and NBC at 8 p.m. EST.

The special will feature performances from across the country, with Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon, and others, also set to take part in the event to benefit those affected by the devastating Harvey storm.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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