The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 2 storm.
In response to the storm's growing threat, many counties and cities in Texas are currently under mandatory evacuations. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the following are mandated for evacuation:
- Brazoria County (Gulf of Mexico to the Intracoastal Canal)
- Calhoun County
- Matagorda County
- San Patricio County
- Port Aransas/Aransas Pass
- City of Ingleside
- Refugio County
Additionally, voluntary evacuations are being encouraged in the following areas:
- Jackson County
- Western Nueces County
- Victoria County
- Bolivar Peninsula
- City of Corpus Christi
Texas officials are expressing concern regarding the fact that not as many people are evacuating compared with previous storms.
The hurricane brings the potential for up to 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges, and could be the fiercest storm to hit the United States in almost a dozen years.
As of 4 a.m. Friday, Harvey was centered about 180 miles southeast of Corpus Christi and was moving northwest near 9 mph with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph.