HOUSTON — Residents living in the coastal areas of southeast Texas are urged to evacuate before Hurricane Laura hits shore, ushering in deadly storm surges and catastrophic winds.
It could be the only time to get out.
Gov. Greg Abbott said rescue efforts during the hurricane will be impossible and residents should expect a lockdown period for emergency services from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 9 a.m. Thursday.
"If you do not get out of the way of this storm, there will be no ability for rescuers or aiders to get in and assist you in any way," Abbott said.
He said state rescue efforts will begin at 9 a.m.
Abbott said Texas has already deployed an estimated 400 buses, 38 aircrafts, 82 boats, 202 high-profile vehicles, 60 ambulance vehicles and more than 75 para-transit vehicles.
More than 5,000 people have been taken into shelters across the state, and Abbott said more space is available. Dallas shelters are only at 29 percent occupancy, they said.
Officials plan to set up additional shelters in Hayes, Williamson and possibly Bell counties.
Many county judges have expressed concern in the amount of people who haven't evacuated from areas that will see the greatest impact, such Orange and Jefferson counties. That's where OEM is anticipating storm surges of us to 10 to 15 feet.
They're expecting strong winds, lengthy power restoration times and the Sabine River to spill over into neighboring areas.