Voluntary evacuation underway for parts of Galveston County as storm nears

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- A voluntary evacuation is underway for residents of Bolivar Peninsula, including Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, High Island and Gilchrist, the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management announced Monday.

The decision came after the National Weather Service predicted as many as 12 inches of rain could fall on the peninsula, along with a possible high tide.

"The voluntary evacuation order is intended to alert residents of Bolivar Peninsula that emergency responders may be unable to reach them in the event that the roadways become flooded," according to a statement from the agency. "Parts of State Highway 87 near High Island are already experiencing flooding along the roadway."

The storm is expected to make landfall as soon as 3am in Matagorda County, which is about 115 miles southeast of the Bolivar Peninsula. Officials there are expecting up to 10 inches of rain and a coastal storm surge of about 3 feet. No shelters in Matagorda County are open yet, but the Matagorda County Sheriff's Office has placed additional deputies on standby and could open a shelter if conditions worsen. Residents in low-lying areas, such as Tres Palacious OAks, are encouraged to prepare for the worst.

Back at Galveston County, officials are preparing for the worst.

The Bolivar Peninsula ferry service could be suspended temporarily, depending on tide and wind speed. Island Transit in Galveston will continue to operate the transportation schedule including the Victory Lakes route as usual unless otherwise posted.

Sanitation services for the City of Galveston also have been suspended for Tuesday, but are expected to resume on Wednesday with the Tuesday route schedule. After hours drop-off at the ECO Center have been suspended until Wednesday.

The McGuire-Dent and Wright Cuney Recreation Centers will remain open and the summer recreation programs will continue per usual, but breakfast and lunch will not be served on Tuesday.

Galveston ISD has suspended classes at all campuses until Wednesday. Galveston College also will be closed on Tuesday.

Residents with medical needs that require electricity are encouraged to seek shelter somewhere with backup generators. Residents on prescription drugs should plan to have enough medication to get them through the next week. null
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