HOUSTON — People in Houston and all along the Gulf coast are keeping a very close eye on Tropical Storm Laura. The National Hurricane Center’s latest track has it making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane sometime Wednesday into Thursday along the western Louisiana coast or East Texas coastline.
The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch for Montgomery, Liberty, Harris and Galveston counties and a hurricane watch for from Port Bolivar, Texas, to the 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.
Since parts of the Houston area are in the forecast cone for Tropical Storm Laura, we’ll need to watch it closely. There is still a lot of uncertainty with the storm.
It’s not expected to stall once inland. If anything, this would be a big wind and storm surge event for the Houston area if it shifts our way.
Here are the Monday evening Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Laura. The latest full NHC advisory is at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB and your local weather forecasts are at https://t.co/SiZo8ohZMN. pic.twitter.com/ik5f89KfxZ
As of Monday night, Laura was about 140 miles from the western tip of Cuba. The cone stretches from Galveston Bay to Vermilion Bay. It’s currently moving west-northwest at 20 miles per hour as it moves over the western edge of Cuba.
The long-range track remains uncertain. Intensity is the least predictable factor of tropical weather and Laura could be significantly stronger, even possibly a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico by early this week.
Coastal storm surge and tropical storm warnings associated with #Marco have been discontinued. However, new watches and/or warnings are likely to be issued later this afternoon for portions of the U.S. Gulf coast for Tropical Storm #Laura. https://t.co/JX426wzDzx pic.twitter.com/cyyZoT8iMV
After fizzling out and coming ashore as a tropical storm, Marco was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday night.
Tropical Storm #Marco has made landfall per @NHC_Atlantic near the mouth of the Mississippi River around 6pm. https://t.co/Tsc0EvY9hy
Tropical Depression #Marco Advisory 20: Marco Weakens to a Tropical Depression. Heavy Rain Still Possible Tonight Across Portions of the Central Gulf Coast. https://t.co/VqHn0u1vgc
With the threat of Laura, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday declared a state disaster to assist Texans who could be affected by the storms. Abbott announced Monday morning that FEMA had approved the declaration.
The state disaster declaration was issued for 23 counties, including all coastal surge counties, plus Bexar County, which will be for staging and sheltering.
The following counties are included in the disaster declaration: 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
It’s way too early to know the exact intensity and track of Laura, but the one thing you can count on — you’ll be better off if you’re prepared.
Here is a list of important items you should have at home or take with you if you evacuate:
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