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Hurricane Laura updates: Harris County to resume toll road operations early Friday morning

Residents are being allowed to return to Galveston County. City residents should check with their local leaders before returning.

HOUSTON — The KHOU 11 weather team and National Hurricane Center are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Laura, which made landfall late Wednesday in Cameron, Louisiana.

RELATED: Hurricane Laura makes landfall on Louisiana coast

RELATED: What Hurricane Laura looked like when it hit Lake Charles

Get the latest out of the Houston area here.

THURSDAY UPDATES:

1:50 p.m. Harris County Toll Road Authority will resume toll operations on Harris County toll roads starting Friday, Aug. 28 at 2 a.m.

12:23 p.m. Laura has weakened to a Tropical Storm with 70mph winds. 

11:08 a.m. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement on Hurricane Laura:

"The city of Houston received no reports of significant damage overnight as a result of Hurricane Laura. I thank Houstonians for heeding our advice to stay weather aware and prepare for a storm because we know each storm is different and storms are unpredictable. We are prepared to assist our neighbors to the east if we receive a request. We are still in Hurricane season. I encourage everyone to keep their safety plans and emergency kits on standby. We hope Houston does not get hit by a storm, but we must remain ready."

10:28 a.m. On top of the Bolivar Ferry resuming service, crews tell us Highway 87 is open again from the earlier rock, debris. Bolivar residents are also now allowed to return.

9:57 a.m. The Galveston-Bolivar Ferry has reopened for service. The ferry vessels went into service to carry the public at 9:45 a.m. 

9:50 a.m. Laura is barely hanging on to hurricane status with max winds of 75 mph - that makes it a Category 1 on the verge of being downgraded to a tropical storm

9:05 a.m. An update from H-E-B just now - all Houston-area stores reopened with normal hours Thursday. Stores farther east, however, will continue to have impacted hours:

At this time, the following stores in the Golden Triangle are closed until further notice. We are assessing each location to make sure it is safe and are working to reopen them as soon as possible.  

Beaumont H-E-B Plus!
Orange H-E-B
Mid County H-E-B
Beaumont 6 H-E-B
Port Arthur H-E-B
Lumberton H-E-B
Groves H-E-B

All other Greater Houston-area H-E-B stores are open. 

All H-E-B Fuel Stations and Pharmacies will follow store hours. 

7:45 a.m. Update for those who live in unincorporated portions of Galveston County: you are free to return home at this time. Be aware Highway 87 is blocked, so residents cannot return to Bolivar at this time. Also those who live in a city will need to check with officials there:

"Galveston County residents, excluding the Bolivar Peninsula, are free to return to the County. Conditions on the mainland and Galveston Island are safe for residents to make the trip back to their properties.

State Highway 87 and State Highway 124 are being cleared by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and are expected to be opened later today. TxDOT is also in the process of assessing conditions and working to restart the ferry service to the Peninsula. An additional announcement will be made later today once the transportation routes to the Bolivar Peninsula are reopened.

Additional law enforcement assets have been dispatched to the unincorporated areas of Galveston County to provide added protection for residents’ properties as they make their return.

If residents reside in an incorporated city, they should listen to notices from those jurisdictions and follow any guidelines provided by their local city officials."

6:21 a.m. TxDOT crews cleared out the rocks pushed along Highway 87 on Bolivar Peninsula. The highway should be passable by the time the sun comes up. 

6 a.m. Highway 87 on Bolivar Peninsula is impassible after waves pushed rocks along the road.

5:43: a.m. Laura weakens to a Category 2 hurricane as it slams deeper into Lousiana. Winds are currently at 110mph with gust of 150mph.

4:20 a.m. METRO will resume operations of all transit services later this morning.  Local bus and Park & Ride will operate on a regular weekday schedule. METRORail Red Line will begin service at 7 a.m. and METRORail Green and Purple lines will begin regular service at 8 a.m.  

All HOV/HOT lanes will resume normal hours of operations.  

1:50 a.m. Hurricane Laura may not have hit the Houston area, but the damage to our neighbors to the east will definitely be feeling the effects of the storm.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said their team is ready to pitch in and help wherever they can.

*Hurricane Laura made landfall in southwestern Louisiana near Cameron as a category 4 hurricane early Thursday morning.*

Wednesday, Aug. 26, updates:

11:49 p.m. KHOU 11 Chief Meteorologist David Paul says Hurricane Laura is making landfall in Cameron, La. with sustained winds of 150 mph. It is moving north at 15 mph, which will put it in Lake Charles, La. next.

11:40 p.m. TxDOT says the Rainbow and Veterans Bridge access points in Port Arthur and Orange are now closed due to unsafe wind speeds.

10 p.m. The latest forecast track shows Hurricane Laura shifting slightly east with the storm set to make landfall in southwest Louisiana.

8:56 p.m. I-10 is closed at Lake Charles, La., according to TxDOT. The alternate route is to take U.S. Highway 59 to I-20.

8:07 p.m. Bluewater Highway in Brazoria County is now closed from Surfside City Limits to San Luis Pass due to high water and debris on the road.

5:45 p.m.  A homeowner in Atascocita was trimming trees ahead of the storm Wednesday afternoon when he was electrocuted. The 62-year-old man was on a 12-foot ladder trying to clear branches near powerlines, according to investigators with the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. “It appears that he nicked the wires with his chainsaw and he was killed, probably almost immediately,” said Precinct 4 Assistant Chief John Zitzmann. “Very unfortunate; terrible, terrible accident.”  Read more.

5:32 p.m. Flooding has already been reported in parts of Louisiana. Pictures from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office show high water on LA 1 below the Leon Theriot Lock in Golden Meadow.

4:50 p.m. DaVita Kidney Care is ready to help thousands of patients with kidney failure weather the storm.  DaVita is currently coordinating care for nearly 700 patients evacuating inland from South Texas areas under mandatory evacuation, including Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange County and Galveston. Generators, additional supplies and medication have been staged in Houston, New Orleans and Mobile, AL so that resources can be quickly deployed once the hurricane makes landfall. 

These patients receive dialysis three times per week, and any missed appointments could endanger their health, according to DaVita.

Patients can call DaVita Guest Services at 1-800-400-8331 for help locating dialysis centers and scheduling treatment. If in need of urgent medical care, dial 9-1-1.

4:25 p.m. With Laura's powerful winds, power outages are still possible. CenterPoint says you don't need to report an outage. You can track CenterPoint outages here.

4:20 p.m. Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking Houstonians to be off the roads by 8 p.m. tonight as Hurricane Laura approaches. Turner said he's "cautiously optimistic" Laura won't make landfall in our area, but urged everyone to keep their guard up. 

4:05 p.m. Liberty County has issued a curfew from 8 p.m. tonight to 8 a.m. All non-essential travel and activities outside should be curtailed during that time period.

3:55 p.m. Laura continues to gain power as it churns toward the Texas-Louisiana border. The National Hurricane Center said winds are now at 145 mph, making it a dangerous Category 4. If Laura reaches 157 mph, it would be a Category 5.

3:05 p.m. Kroger has announced that they will close all Houston area stores at 6 p.m. tonight, to ensure their associates and their families can stay safe through the storm.

The Kroger on the Galveston Seawall closed at 2 p.m. 

2:25 p.m.  Chambers County has announced a curfew from 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday for people who didn't evacuate. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Chambers County EMS and local volunteer fire departments have announced that they will stop responding to calls once sustained winds reach Tropical Storm Force.

“Citizen safety is our top priority, but high winds can endanger the lives of first responders as well," said Chambers County Emergency Management Coordinator Ryan Holzaepfel.

2 p.m. Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Mayor Craig Brown said island leaders and first responders are ready for whatever Hurricane Laura brings. While Galveston is currently on the "clean side" of the Category 4 storm, Brown doesn't believe the island will be completely spared. “We know we’re going to take a hit from this hurricane. We just don’t know how hard.”

He believes the Bay side will see the worst storm surge. 

Brown doesn't know how many residents ignored Tuesday's mandatory evacuation order, but warned them that rescuers might not be able to get to them if they need help. 

He said they hope to allow everyone who evacuated back on the island early Thursday. 

A curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday.

1:30 p.m. While Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border, parts of Galveston County will feel the effects.

Now a Category 4 storm, Laura could bring wind gusts up to 50 mph to the eastern Bolivar Peninsula and power outages are likely, according to County Judge Mark Henry. The storm surge is predicted to be 4 to 6 feet on Bolivar. 

Henry said all but a few dozen residents on Bolivar have evacuated and anyone who wants to leave now will have to drive east toward the storm since the ferry isn't operating. Henry said they will have the ferry running again as soon as it's safe so residents can get home.

12:45 p.m.  Kroger is preparing for the aftermath of the storm by mobilizing its Emergency Mobile Pharmacy trailer to serve Houstonians in need.

The Mobile Pharmacy is equipped with over 200 prescription medications and is large enough to allow for five pharmacists to serve people who need medication. The pharmacy service isn’t only for established Kroger customers – they can help fill prescriptions from any pharmacy.

“Ensuring evacuees and displaced families can access prescription medication is critical, and possibly even life-saving for some” said Joe Kelley, President of Kroger, Houston.

12:05 p.m. Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans in the path of Hurricane Laura to get out now. He said the window for evacuating will end early this evening and there will be no overnight rescues.

Abbott called Laura’s storm surge “unsurvivable,” and said the storm surge could be 10 to 15 feet in Jefferson and Orange counties.

As a Category 4 storm, wind damage is also a serious threat. 

11:30 a.m. Lightning strikes -- that look more like twinkling Christmas lights -- are visible in this satellite video of Hurricane Laura as it approaches the Texas-Louisiana coast this morning. 

11:11 a.m. H-E-B will close the following stores at noon today:

  • Baytown
  • Baytown Joe V’s Smart Shop 
  • Mont Belvieu 

All other Houston-area H-E-B and Mi Tienda stores and Central Markets will close at 6 p.m. tonight.  All H-E-B Fuel Stations and Pharmacies in the area will follow store hours

11:00 a.m. The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has activated the City's Emergency Operations Center to Level I, Maximum Readiness.  In addition, the City of Houston has activated a Joint Information Center (JIC) to manage public information related to this week's weather and the City's response. JIC staff will provide weather updates and public safety messaging via AlertHouston, www.houstonemergency.org, and OEM's social media accounts: Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

10:50 a.m. Horses from the HPD Mounted Patrol Unit were evacuated to College Station until the threat from Laura passes. The 36 horses will be cared for by members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets’ Parsons Mounted Cavalry (PMC). The PMC also took care of HPD's Mounted Patrol Unit during Hurricane Harvey. 

10:10 a.m. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s League City location will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 26 through Friday, Aug. 28. All other MD Anderson locations (Texas Medical Center, Bellaire, Memorial City, Sugar Land, The Woodlands and West Houston) will end operations at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, and will be closed for clinic and treatment appointments on Thursday, Aug. 27. Members of MD Anderson’s care teams will contact patients whose appointments are affected to reschedule.

9:50 a.m. Fort Bend County Judge KP George has signed a disaster declaration, activating the local emergency operations center and allowing the county to access state emergency financial and supply resources. 

Officials said they have not issued evacuation orders for the county, but they're prepared to quickly set up shelter and evacuation plan. George said the emergency management team has been in close contact with local mayors and Gov. Greg Abbott. 

"I believe we're in good shape at the moment," George said.

8:06 a.m. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has signed a disaster declaration so the county can be prepared to respond to any impacts from Hurricane Laura

8 a.m. Light wind and rain on the Galveston coast this morning, bracing for a storm surge from Hurricane Laura later today into tomorrow morning

7:06 a.m. An incredible lightning show via NOAA satellites: "For this #WednesdayMorning, take a look at #HurricaneLaura with @NOAA 's #GOESEast satellite as the hurricane's convection bursts with lightning. As of 8 a.m. EDT, #Laura had winds of 115 mph and was rapidly intensifying in the Gulf of Mexico."

6:10 a.m. 'Try to save what you can' | Evacuations underway as curfew takes effect in Orange County - For hours last night, first responders worked to get some of the most vulnerable out of harm’s way ahead of Hurricane Laura. Read more out of the Beaumont area here.

6 a.m. Update on evacuees from our sister station, KVUE, in Austin: Some Texas coast evacuees who traveled to Austin for shelter ahead of Hurricane Laura's landfall are being turned away from the Circuit of the Americas check-in sight. Evacuees are now being asked to drive to the Mesquite, Texas, location because Austin "is at capacity." Read more here.

4 a.m. Hurricane Laura's forecast track has remained the same, targeting a landfall near the Texas and Louisiana border, bringing the worst of the weather to the Port Arthur, Beaumont and Lake Charles areas. There is now concern that Laura could be a Category 4 storm at landfall. The Houston area will still need to look for any impacts in the form of gusty winds and a storm surge late Wednesday into early Thursday morning. Get the latest storm updates here.

Tuesday, August 25, updates:

10 p.m. With the 10 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Laura has strengthened and now has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour with gusts at more than 115. The storm was 405 miles southeast of Lake Charles, La., moving to the west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.  

9:13 p.m. Buses will be available Wednesday to transport Chambers County residents who wish to evacuate but who do not have the means to do so on their own.

Residents can check in at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday at one of two locations:

Kyle White Stadium North Parking Lot on Willcox Street in Anahuac or at Winnie-Stowell Park, 335 S Park Street in Winnie. Buses will depart at 8 a.m.

There is limited space available, and spaces are first-come, first-serve with the exception of a handful of residents who pre-registered via the 2-1-1 registry.

Evacuees will be transported to San Antonio, Austin or Dallas. Evacuees do not have a choice as to which location they will be transported. Once it is safe to return, those who evacuated via bus will have the option to return via bus. More information on return will be issued once it is available.

Residents who choose to evacuate via bus should note:

  • Transportation to the departure location is not available.
  • Due to COVID-19, riders will be spaced out and must follow safety guidelines including wearing a mask.
  • Luggage space is limited. Each evacuee is permitted to bring one suitcase and one small personal bag.
  • Each evacuee is permitted to bring one pet — weighing 30 pounds or less — as long as they are in proper pet carriers. Owners are encouraged to bring copies of licenses and/or vet paperwork.
  • These are not medical shelters. Those who need assistance with oxygen and can provide their own supplies are permitted to utilize this transportation.

Riders are encouraged to find someone to drop them off before boarding the bus. Limited parking space is available, but evacuees who choose to leave their vehicles at the staging sites do so at their own risk.

Residents who are under home quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 will not be permitted to board buses or enter a shelter. All prospective riders will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to boarding.

7:14 p.m. Governor Greg Abbott has directed TxDOT to waive all tolls along the portion of SH 99/Grand Parkway beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday. With this action, all tolls on Houston-area toll roads will be temporarily waived to help those evacuating due to Hurricane Laura.

"As Hurricane Laura approaches Texas, this waiver will ensure that Texans are able to evacuate efficiently ahead of the storm," Gov. Abbott said. "I urge Texans in the area to continue to take all necessary precautions as Hurricane Laura nears the coast and heed the guidance of local officials."

7 p.m. Chambers County has issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas and those in unanchored mobile homes and RVs. At this time, a general evacuation order has not been issued, county officials said.

6:45 p.m. The City of Galveston has implemented a series of curfews over the next three nights for the protection of residents and their property during Hurricane Laura. It begins at 10 p.m. tonight.

Any person found on the public right of way and not evacuating may be stopped by law enforcement and subject to a misdemeanor and an up to $1,000 fine. The curfew is intended to protect Galveston residents and their property from any potential looting.

Curfew hours

  • Tuesday, August 25 at 10:00 pm until Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00 am;
  • Wednesday, August 26 at 8:00 pm until Thursday, August 27 at 6:00 am;
  • Thursday, August 27 at 8:00 pm until Friday, August 28 at 6:00 am.

5:20 p.m. Garbage collection in Houston will be suspended on Thursday, August 27. Leave your bins in a secure place to prevent loose trash from clogging sewers.

5:10 p.m. Harris Health System is closing all of its outpatient healthcare facilities at noon Wednesday, Aug. 26, ahead of the possible landfall of Hurricane Laura. All facilities will remain closed on Thursday, Aug. 27. All patients will be contacted directly to reschedule appointments. For information about Harris Health closures, visit www.harrishealth.org.

5:05 p.m. The Houston SPCA sent 238 animals to safety in Austin and the North Dallas area. Wings of Rescue flew coastal pets from Galveston Humane, including 57 cats, 20 dogs, three rabbits and one three-legged mouse. The  Houston SPCA and Austin Humane transported 102 cats and 28 dogs, while 27 baby squirrels went into the care of the Austin Wildlife Rescue.

4:50 p.m. Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta has issued a Voluntary Evacuation for low-lying coastal communities outside the protection levee.

4:46 p.m. All Houston Independent School District food distribution efforts have been canceled Thursday and Friday due to potential inclement weather from Hurricane Laura. Student meal delivery to designated apartment complexes will continue Wednesday, Aug. 26, but will be canceled on Thursday, Aug. 27 and Friday, Aug. 28. Curbside summer meals are canceled on Thursday, Aug. 27. 

The mass community food distribution scheduled for Friday, Aug. 28 in the NRG Stadium Yellow Lot has been rescheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 at the same location.

4:37 p.m. Houston Public Works will initiate the temporary lowering of Lake Houston Tuesday evening. Lake Houston will be lowered to 41 ft, which is 18 inches below full pool. It is predicted Hurricane Laura will bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Lake Houston Area over a six-day period, with isolated incidents of 6 inches of rainfall possible.

4:20 p.m. Houston residents in the voluntary evacuation zone who call 311 will be directed to a hotel and will not be required to pay for their room. This only includes residents in Houston ZIP codes 77059, 77062, and 77058 North. 

4 p.m. The latest report from the National Hurricane Center has Laura's winds at 80 mph with wind gusts up to 100 mph. The track and timing haven't changed. Landfall is still expected from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

3:43 p.m. METRO will suspend operations of all transit services at 4 p.m. Wednesday in advance of the impacts to the region from Hurricane Laura. Service will resume when it is safe to do so.

3:36 p.m. More evacuations have been issued for Galveston County: A mandatory evacuation for Kemah and La Marque areas outside the levee. Dickinson is now under a voluntary advisory, along with low-lying areas of League City.

3:30 p.m. Montgomery County officials provide an update on preparations for Hurricane Laura.

3:20 p.m. HISD facilities will be closed on Wed, 8/26 and Thurs, 8/27; scheduled to reopen on Fri, 8/28 pending road and weather conditions

3:02 p.m. The Bolivar-Galveston Ferry will stop operating at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The last ferry will leave Bolivar at 11:30 p.m. Ferry service will resume when it is safe to do so.

2:46 p.m. Governor Abbott said reception centers in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin will open later today. The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating. There are also over 225,000 hotel rooms available across the state to provide shelter to evacuees. 

2:30 p.m.  Governor announced that he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind, and flooding.  They are: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Cass, Cherokee, Dallas, Fort Bend, Franklin, Gregg, Grimes, Harrison, Houston, Leon, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, Waller, Wharton and Wood.

2:20 p.m. Houston Zoo will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 26 and Thursday, Aug. 27. Whether the Zoo will reopen on Friday, Aug. 28 will be determined as the weather event continues. The animals will be cared for during the storm by a select group of team members who will stay at the Zoo throughout the weather event. The animals have safe and secure barns and night houses that have been constructed to weather storms like this one.

2:10 p.m. League City Mayor Pat Hallisey has issued a local state of disaster and a voluntary evacuation order for all of League City. Residents in low lying areas including those along Clear Lake, Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou, along with residents with medical needs and who use devices that require electricity, are strongly encouraged to consider evacuating. All residents need to be aware that City emergency response services could be limited during the height of the storm. Storm surge, strong winds, and power outages are expected during the storm.

2:05 p.m. La Porte is issuing a Voluntary Evacuation Order for all areas, effective immediately. La Porte is now under a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning due to potentially dangerous impacts to our area. Hurricane Laura is expected to be a Category 3 major hurricane at landfall, with up to 115 mph winds. On its current track, La Porte can expect to experience tropical storm and/or hurricane force winds and 3-5 feet of storm surge.

  1. 2:04 p.m. Fort Bend ISD, Cy-Fair ISD and Spring ISD are among the latest districts to announce closures. Tap here for the full list. 

1:30 p.m. Fort Bend County waves tolls on Fort Bend Parkway, Westpark Toll Road, and Grand Parkway in Fort Bend County to support evacuations related to Hurricane Laura. "It is encouraged that residents use these routes instead of flooded roads. Tolls will remain waived through Friday, August 28 at 11:59 p.m. to assist in the region’s hurricane response and recovery."

1:12 p.m Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia issued a Mandatory Evacuation Order for at risk areas of Chambers County, effective immediately.  Residents who reside in low lying and flood-prone areas and those who live in trailer/manufactured homes are required to move to a safer location.

12:45 p.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo declares a voluntary evacuation of residents in evacuation ZIP code Zones A & B, which include coastal communities in Harris County and Houston. Find your evacuation zone on this ZIP code map, which includes routes.

RELATED: EVACUATIONS: Houston-area cities, counties that have issued evacuations ahead of Hurricane Laura

RELATED: Hurricane evacuations: Know when and where to go by ZIP code

12:29 p.m. — Channelview ISD will be closed Wednesday through Friday due to severe weather conditions. Tap here for the full list. 

12:25 p.m.  Alvin Community College has canceled all courses and the campus will be closed Wednesday and Thursday. The closure will include all face-to-face, online, hybrid and remote classes. No virtual services will be available. The ACC Lab School will also be closed.

SCHOOL CLOSURES: A list of school districts, colleges closing due to Hurricane Laura

12:17 p.m. — Major League Baseball announced today that Wednesday's scheduled game between the Astros and Angels at Minute Maid Park has been postponed due to the potential impact that Hurricane Laura may have on the Gulf Coast. Read more.

12:03 p.m. — Space Center Houston will be closed Wednesday and Thursday in preparation of severe weather brought in by Hurricane Laura. The closure includes all in-person and virtual programs. Participants registered in activities that were postponed due to the closure will be contacted with rescheduling information.

11:45 a.m. — Galveston County Judge Mark Henry confirmed the following cities has issued voluntary evacuation orders including Bayou Vista, Hitchcock and Kema. City of Galveston, Clear Lake Shores, Jamaica Beach, La Marque and Tiki Island have all issued mandatory evacuations.

RELATED: Mandatory evacuation issued for all residents in City of Galveston and on Bolivar Peninsula

11:45 a.m. — "We do not have the resources to go door to door and pull people out of their homes." | Galveston County Judge Mark Henry urges residents to evacuate the area as rescue efforts will be almost impossible during the storm. He reminded residents to bring any prescription medication, personal protection supplies and all pets.  "We do not have the ability to rescue you," he said.

11:37 a.m. — Galveston County has issued a mandatory evacuation for the Bolivar Peninsula, as well as Bacliff and San Leon. Officials said 50 buses are prepared for evacuation. They're also suspending ferry services at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

11:30 a.m. — Galveston County officials are discussing their latest emergency management plan after a hurricane warning was issued for the Galveston coastline. So far, the county has issued a voluntary evacuation order the Bolivar Peninsula.

10:48 a.m. — Cleveland ISD will be closed Wednesday through Friday district families prepare for arrival of Hurricane Laura. The district plans to resume classes Monday, Aug. 31.

10:33 a.m. — Dickinson ISD is releasing students at 11 a.m. and faculty members at noon Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Laura. District officials said schools will be closed through Thursday, and they're waiting to make a decision about returning Friday. Virtual learning is also postponed.

10:29 a.m. — La Porte ISD is ending classes, including virtual instruction and extracurricular activities, at noon Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Laura. The district plans to reopen Friday, officials said.

9:49 a.m. —  EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Judge Lina Hidalgo has granted free passage to motorists on the Harris County tollway system to support evacuations along the Gulf coast. For now, no evacuation orders have been issued for Harris County. Full list of local evacuation orders.

9:09 a.m. — Brazoria County has closed all county beaches to vehicular traffic due to Hurricane Laura.

8:47 a.m.   Brazoria County has issued a voluntary evacuation for low-lying coastal communities outside the protection levee. All residents need to continue to watch Hurricane Laura closely, as the track for this storm continues to change.

7:47 a.m. — Galveston ISD will be closed Tuesday and through the remainder of the week. All on-site and remote classes have been canceled. School is expected to resume Monday, Aug. 31.

7:42 a.m. — The Bolivar Peninsula is under a voluntary evacuation order, according to Galveston County officials. The evacuation also includes the unincorporated areas of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, High Island and Gilchrist.

7:24 a.m. — The National Hurricane Center confirms Laura has become a Category 1 hurricane. Read more.

6:32 a.m. — The city of Galveston has issued a mandatory evacuation instructing all residents to leave the city. It is urgent that residents heed this mandatory evacuation and leave with all family members and pets. Read more.

4:19 a.m. — Nassau Bay has issued a voluntary evacuation for all disabled residents and those with medical needs. List of evacuation areas.

4:18 a.m. — Seabrook has issued a voluntary evacuation for residents and businesses in the low-lying areas of the city, specifically lower Todville from Red Bluff south to SH 146 and Baywood Drive. Elderly residents and those with medical conditions are strongly encouraged to evacuate.

The National Weather Services has issued a Hurricane and Storm Surge Watch for these areas with an anticipated two to four feet of storm surge in Seabrook based on the current track of Tropical Storm Laura. List of evacuation areas. 

8:41 p.m.   A mandatory evacuation has been issued for Jefferson County, Orange County and Port Arthur ahead of Tropical Storms Laura and Marco. 

8:23 p.m. — The City of Mont Belvieu issued a local state of disaster. The local state of disaster activates the Mont Belvieu emergency plan ahead of Tropical Storm Laura.

6:50 p.m. — Texas A&M University at Galveston is issuing a mandatory evacuation effective Tuesday, August 25. The timeline and access to campus is subject to change over the coming days based on weather conditions.

SCHOOL CLOSURES: A list of districts, campuses closing due to Tropical Storm Laura

6:20 p.m. —  Mayor Thom Kolupski has issued a voluntary evacuation for residents and businesses in low-lying areas in Seabrook, specifically lower Todville from Red Bluff south to SH 146 and Baywood Drive. These portions of Seabrook are most prone to storm surge and flooding. The National Weather Services has issued a Hurricane and Storm Surge Watch for these areas with an anticipated two to four feet of storm surge in Seabrook based on the current track of Tropical Storm Laura.

LIST: Houston-area cities, counties that have issued voluntary evacuations ahead of Tropical Storm Laura

6 p.m. — Tropical Storm Marco made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Heavy rain is expected through the night for the north-central Gulf Coast but Marco's winds will continue to weaken.

6 p.m. — Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta signed a disaster declaration for the potential tropical weather threat. They're often signed in advance to speed up the process if support is needed.

5:55 p.m.  — Brazosport College will close Tuesday, August 25 at 5 p.m. through Thursday, August 27. With this closure, all evening college classes scheduled for Tuesday, August 25, including online, face-to-face or in a hybrid/blended format are cancelled. Check here for more school closings.

5:40 p.m.  — Natural disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms can be overwhelming and can seriously affect emotional health. Before, during and after such storms, the Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by tropical storm-related incidents. The Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week and free resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling and support in dealing with the traumatic effects of a natural or human-caused disaster.

5:05 p.m.  —  More school closings or changes: Anahuac ISD will be closed Tuesday through Friday, Aug. 25-28. This includes all school activities; East Chambers ISD will transition to totally virtual learning beginning Tuesday, August 25;  Crenshaw School on Bolivar Peninsula will be closed for the remainder of the week. All other Galveston ISD campuses will remain open for remote learning Tuesday; Galveston College says all academic and campus operations will take place remotely, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 25, until further notice. 

4:50 p.m. — BARC Houston has cancelled all non-emergency intake services as we prepare for a possible influx of animals affected by the storms in the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, other services have not been not affected, however this is subject to change. The staff is working to insure that all animals on-site at BARC will be cared for and for essential crew members to stay overnight if necessary. 

4:20 p.m.  — The City of Galveston announces Island Transit services will be suspended beginning Tuesday and until further notice due to concerns regarding Tropical Storm Laura. Routes will run through the end of the day Monday. We will update once services resume.

4 p.m.  —  With the 4 p.m. Monday update, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch for Montgomery, Liberty, Harris and Galveston counties.

A hurricane watch was issued for from Port Bolivar, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana. 

A storm surge watch is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne for areas outside of the southeast Louisiana Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

RELATED: Tropical Storm Laura: Tropical storm, hurricane watches issued for parts of the southeast Texas coast

3:50 p.m.  —  Thursday’s game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park will be played on Tuesday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday’s game, which was originally scheduled for 8:10 p.m., will be moved up to a 12:10 p.m. start.

3:35 p.m. — Galveston County Judge Mark Henry says he anticipates a voluntary evacuation for Bolivar Peninsula Tuesday if the current models don't change. 

3:05 p.m. — County Judge Mark Henry has signed a Disaster Declaration for Galveston County in response to possible impacts from Tropical Storm Laura.

“Forecasts are showing the possibility of heavy rains, tropical force winds, and storm surge impacting our area,” said Judge Henry. “This storm potentially presents a serious threat to the life safety and property of our residents.”

2:15 p.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mobilized more than 70 members of the Texas Army and Air National Guard in response to Tropical Storms Marco and Laura.

2 p.m. — President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Texas. FEMA is available to help state and local agencies to areas that will be affected by Tropical Storms Marco and Laura to coordinate disaster relief efforts starting Monday. The declaration includes Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Willacy counties. 

Hurricane supply list | Severe weather guideWho should evacuate?

1:38 p.m. — 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.

12:47 p.m. — Brazosport ISD is closing schools on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There will be no classes for virtual at-home learners or at school learners on these closure dates. Other school closures will be posted here.

12:33 p.m. — Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia issued a county-wide disaster declaration in advance of Tropical Storm Marco and Tropical Storm Laura’s landfall, expected later this week. There is currently no evacuation order for Chambers County.

11:30 a.m. — Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie announced Monday he is calling for a mandatory city-wide evacuation beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, August 25. Mayor Bartie originally announced a voluntary evacuation of Sabine Pass, Saturday, August 22. 

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