Potential for devastating floods has Galveston on alert ahead of Hurricane Harvey

SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas (KTRK) -- Concerns about high winds and higher tides have officials in Galveston making preparations ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

So far, only voluntary evacuations have been issued for people with medical or access and functional needs on the West End of Galveston.

Officials, however, are telling people in low lying areas that they may want to leave.

West End residents like Joan Newton would hate to think of her elderly mother left unable to access medical care or in the heat.

"It would be extremely hard for her if the electricity goes out and we have no AC; that would be miserable for her," said Newton.

Video in to the ABC13 newsroom Thursday morning shows workers removing the lifeguard stations that are so familiar along the beaches on Seawall Boulevard.

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Galveston is taking precautions to prevent damage from Tropical Storm Harvey.

The work began around 3 a.m., and they were working their way down the beach.

A bulldozer is being used to help move the stands. Slowly but surely, these workers will get them off the beach and out of harm's way.

Hotels and businesses on the Strand have sandbags piled high, in hopes of avoiding damage from potential floodwaters.

Several historical sites in Galveston have announced they will be closed from Friday until Sunday, including Bishop's Palace, the Tall Ship Elissa, and Pier 21 Theater.

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