HOUSTON – As Hurricane Harvey creeps toward the Texas Coast, the National Hurricane Center is warning Texans to prepare for a powerful punch with "life-threatening flash flooding."
We could see rainfall of 15 to 25 inches with isolated areas getting up to three feet.
"Harvey is expected to be a major hurricane at landfall, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast," their latest advisory said.
The latest forecast track has Harvey making landfall near Corpus Christi as a Category 3 storm.
"This is a rapidly intensifying hurricane," said KHOU 11 Meteorologist Brooks Garner. "I wouldn't be surprised if we see winds of 100 mph in later advisories."
Several counties have already called for mandatory and voluntary evacuations. Stay with KHOU 11 News and KHOU.com for the latest.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry has issued a voluntary evacuation for residents on Bolivar Peninsula effective Friday, Aug. 25 at 8 a.m. This order includes the unincorporated areas of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, High Island and Gilchrist. Residents who rely on medical assistance or those who cannot go without power for an extended period of time are encouraged to leave.
The Brazoria County judge has issued a mandatory evacuation for coastal communities along the Gulf side of the Intracoastal canal. The evacuation is due to an expected 6-10 foot storm surge. There is a voluntary evacuation for low-lying coastal areas inland of the Intracoastal Waterway.
A mandatory evacuation is in effect for Matagorda, Sargent and Palacios beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, according to the Matagorda County Sheriff.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Calhoun County, the City of Port Aransas and San Patricio County. A voluntary evacuation order was issued for Victoria, Refugio, Brazoria and Jackson counties as well.
Thursday afternoon, Galveston called for a voluntary evacuation of West End residents with medical or access needs.
While weather alerts are in effect for our area, KHOU 11 Meteorologist Brooks Garner says he does not believe there will be any inland evacuations called for, residents need to prepare to possibly shelter in place if flooding occurs.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Matagorda and Jackson Counties.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Brazoria County.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Austin County, Colorado County.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Brazoria County, Chambers, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Waller County, Wharton County.
(What do these watches and warnings mean? Download our preparedness guide.)
TRACK HARVEY: View the latest forecast track
Even though Corpus is in the landfall zone, Houston will be on the "dirty" side of this system, warns KHOU 11 Chief Meteorologist David Paul and there is the chance for heavy rainfall and flooding the entire weekend and last until Wednesday.
"For we here in Houston, it is the flooding threat that will be a threat extended over several days that is most concerning," says Paul.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a State of Disaster for 30 counties in anticipation of Tropical Storm Harvey making landfall. County Judge Hebert declared a local state of disaster for Fort Bend County.
The governor has also activated 700 members of the Texas Army and Air National Guards and Texas State Guard to areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
HURRICANE CENTRAL: What you need to know to prepare for a storm
TRACK THE TROPICS: Hurricane Central Interactive Map
At Wednesday morning's regular City Council meeting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said now is the time for citizens to prepare, encouraging everyone to make an emergency kit, minimize travel and monitor conditions.