Galveston mandatory evacuations in effect now ahead of Laura

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Not everyone is boarding buses to evacuate Galveston Island
Not everyone is boarding buses to evacuate Galveston Island.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The City of Galveston has issued a series of curfews for this week as Hurricane Laura nears landfall along the Texas coast.

Those who do no comply with curfew rules will face a $1,000 fine.

The curfew hours are as followed:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 10:00 p.m. until Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 6:00 am
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 8:00 p.m. until Thursday, Aug. 27 at 6:00 am
  • Thursday, Aug. 27 at 8:00 p.m. until Friday, Aug. 28 at 6:00 a.m.

With Laura being upgraded to a hurricane, the city issued a mandatory evacuations for all its residents Tuesday.

Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown signed the evacuation order, instructing residents to begin leaving the island for safety after overnight models shifted Laura's track westward.

The order went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday

Galveston residents should secure loose items on their property and leave the island with all family members and pets.

"Mandatory evacuations will be ongoing throughout the day and early tomorrow, so people have time to secure their properties, businesses, etc. and leave for safety. Residents are NOT required to be off the island by 12 p.m. City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. People should be getting their plans together this morning for an evacuation," Galveston city officials clarified in a statement.

"With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our residents," Brown said. "It's imperative that you make plans this morning to secure your homes and move you and your family to safety off island."

WATCH: ABC13 spoke with Harris County Flood Control District's Jeff Lindner about what Galveston's mandatory evacuations could mean for the greater Houston area.

City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. Sanitation will complete its route Tuesday morning, and those services will be suspended. City staff will secure city facilities, and all city buildings will also be closed by noon.

Note that once winds reach tropical storm strength, police and fire services will not be available. So if you choose not to follow the mandatory evacuation order, you should not expect public safety services once conditions worsen, officials said.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M at Galveston ordered the evacuation of students Tuesday, releasing this statement:

Tropical Storm Laura continues to remain a threat to the Texas coast with limited forecast confidence. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the safety of our students, faculty and staff, 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. Updated information will be published daily. All students, faculty and staff should monitor official communication channels for current information.

Galveston ISD also canceled classes Tuesday through Friday, Aug. 25 - 28, including remote learning.

MORE: Houston-area school closings and delays

If you signed up for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), the state will begin staging buses at 48th and Broadway at the Island Community Center. You must arrive before 12 p.m. as soon as possible.

If you are in the STEAR program, but do not have a way to get to the community center, call 409-765-3710 for assistance.

Everything you need to know about evacuating

If you need to evacuate, you'll want to watch this video for more tips on how to stay updated on weather alerts as they come out.

Laura could cause westward evacuations through Houston, mayor says

MONDAY UPDATE: Marco is a non-factor, but Laura is a different story. Here's what Houston area leaders urged people to do with the potential hurricane with what little time there is to prepare.

Red Cross working to have shelters available ahead of Tropical Storm Laura

As Marco and Laura both head toward the Gulf Coast, Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast officials say they will have shelters available if necessary.