WATCH LIVE: Hurricane Harvey batters Texas
Above: Galveston’s seawall camera via Galveston.com
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Harvey to a category 4 hurricane Friday evening as the storm barreled toward the U.S.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 25, 2017
It is expected to make landfall in southeast Texas late Friday evening or Saturday morning.
In a 7 p.m. update on Twitter, the agency said the storm was close to the Corpus Christi’s shore, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday night that he had signed a federal disaster declaration.
At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
Earlier in the day, the NHC added that the middle and upper Texas coast could see up to 40 inches of rain in isolated areas throughout the coming days.
Storm Chaser Jeff Piotrowski is streaming from southeast Texas:
WeatherBug has a time-lapse camera at First Community Bank in Corpus Christi.
And here’s the Galveston.com camera from the beach.
President Donald Trump spoke with Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana on Thursday and “committed to providing assistance as appropriate,” according to a White House statement.
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb says he’s confident anything “within our control will be taken care of,” as long as people stay out of the line of flood waters.
A total of 54 Red Cross shelters are expected throughout the recovery process, according to the governor.
How is the state preparing?
On Friday, Governor Abbott issued a statement offering evacuation tips and urging residents to listen to the advice of local officials.
“Texans must also take action and treat this storm seriously,” Abbott said. “Bring in outdoor objects that could become deadly missiles, such as patio furniture, hanging plants, trash cans, gardening tools and barbecues.”
School closures were announced throughout the state Friday, including at the University of Houston, Rice University and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, where the sea wall has already risen two feet.
Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Victoria and Houston will be under flood watch for several days. The Red Cross has plans to open more shelters throughout the state. River flooding in areas will continue for a number of days.
The National Weather Service delivered a list of potential impacts facing area residents along the Texas Coast, from Corpus Christi to Galveston preparing for a life-threatening surge.
Harvey's forecast path is slow and meandering, meaning a long duration flood threat with catastrophic results.
Take preparation actions NOW. pic.twitter.com/gEaDEfJoVY
— NWS (@NWS) August 25, 2017
“Extreme beach erosion. New shoreline cuts possible,” the weather service predicts. “Massive damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers.”
Elaine Duke, Secretary of Transportation appointed by President Trump, said the administration is ready.
“This is a major catastrophic event though, it will be slow and it will be long,” Duke said Friday afternoon.
According to the Vice President’s spokesperson, Pence is remaining in Washington this weekend and will be coordinating with President Trump at Camp David, monitoring the storm and government response.
On Twitter, Republican Chuck Grassley urged the president to not make the “same mistake Pres Bush made w Katrina.”
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 25, 2017
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.