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HURRICANE CENTER LIVE: Harvey strengthens into Category 2 storm overnight

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HURRICANE CENTER LIVE: Our team of meteorologists are tracking Hurricane Harvey from the Hurricane Center Live studio. Click here to watch live on your mobile device...

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CLICK HERE for School Closures information

CLICK HERE for Road Closures and Power Outages information

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UPDATE AT 12:19 P.M.

DPS troopers and the Port Isabel Police Department say the Queen Isabella Causeway eastbound lanes have been closed. Troopers are currently evaluating further action.

For updates, follow @txdpsroadreport on Twitter.

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UPDATE at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, August 25: Latest view of Harvey from the International Space Station.

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UPDATE at 8:30 a.m., on Friday, August 25: H-E-B announced all stores in Corpus Christi, Robstown and Refugio will close at 10 a.m. due to Harvey.

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UPDATE at 8 a.m. on Friday, August 25: The Port Aransas ferry system has now closed. A Nueces County judge said residents along the Gulf Coast who have not evacuated should do so by noon on Friday.

The last flight flying out of Corpus Christi International Airport left just before 8 a.m.

The National Weather Service says a flash flood watch has been extended to include Blanco and Kendall counties. NWS says river flooding due to Harvey could last many days.

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UPDATE at 6 a.m. on Friday, August 25: City of San Antonio officials say 28 buses loaded with evacuees have made it to San Antonio.

Meanwhile, there was a rush on water and other goods at H-E-B stores all over San Antonio and South Texas late Thursday night and Friday morning.

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UPDATE at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, August 25: Texas Department of Transportation says Port Aransas ferry system will shut down within next 2-3 hours due to worsening conditions.


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UPDATE: Evacuees traveling to San Antonio should check in at 200 Gembler Road. At this location, they'll be transferred to area shelters to wait out Hurricane Harvey.

RELATED: More info here on preparations by the City of San Antonio, including road closures and power outages

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UPDATE at 3:55 p.m.: Third lane on I-37 N is now active from Corpus to SA, per TxDOT.

The "contraflow" of I-37 has NOT been initiated. (If contraflow is initiated, traffic will reverse for the two southbound lanes, so that everyone is heading north, three lanes on the NB side and the two SB lanes all going north. People disperse at Loop 1604.

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FOOD BANK NEEDS DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS: Food Bank is the organization the Red Cross relies on during disasters. They will need additional resources like hygiene products, food donations and many volunteers to feed breakfast, lunch and dinner to evacuees this weekend.

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UPDATE at 3:30 p.m.: Comal County Issues Disaster Declaration

NEW BRAUNFELS – August 24, 2017 – With Hurricane Harvey increasing in intensity, predicted to make landfall along the Texas Coast, and forecast to bring widespread rain and flooding to South Central Texas, including Comal County, County Judge Sherman Krause issued a Disaster Declaration for Comal County, Texas at 1:00 p.m. today.

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UPDATE at 3 p.m.: San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announce that San Antonio and Bexar County are under a Local Disaster Declaration.

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Harvey intensifies to hurricane, likely a major Texas storm


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP - 8/24 3:00PM) — Tropical Storm Harvey intensified Thursday into a hurricane that forecasters said would be the first major hurricane to hit Texas in 12 years.

Sustained winds reached 80 mph (129 kph) more than a day before landfall was expected late Friday between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile (48-kilometer) stretch of coastline about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi.

Forecasters said a "life-threatening" storm surge along with rains and wind were likely as Harvey was intensifying faster than previously forecast. A major hurricane means winds greater than 110 mph (177 kph).

As of midday Thursday, Harvey was about 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi, moving to the north-northwest at about 10 mph (17 kph) .

Once Harvey makes landfall, it's possible the storm then could just stall inland for as many as three days, exacerbating the threat of flooding brought by tropical downpours, the National Hurricane Center said. Some forecasts indicated rain totals over several days extending into next week could exceed 24 inches (60 centimeters).

Harvey would be the first major hurricane to hit Texas since Rita in 2005.

Numerous cities were shipping in sandbags, extra water and other items ahead of the storm.

In Corpus Christi, dozens of people were waiting in line early Thursday at a local Sam's Club. Down the coast in South Padre Island, Dave Evans took advantage of the free sandbags, noting he and his fiancé live in an older house prone to flooding.

"The master bedroom floods every time the rain gets very strong. I think our home is below sea level," Evans told The Brownsville Herald.

Alex Garcia, of Corpus Christi, was buying bottled water, bread and other basics in Sugar Land, a Houston suburb, after dropping his daughter off at college in Houston.

He said grocery items likely were more available in Houston than back home, where Garcia, a beer distributor salesman, said stores were "crazy."

"We'll be selling lots of beer," he laughed.

Garcia's house is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the bay. While a seawall offers some protection, "It floods in Corpus all the time," he said.

"Harvey is looking like it's going to just meander around the area," National Weather Service meteorologist Penny Zabel said. "It's going to hang out for a few days, and that's why we're looking at such high rainfall amounts."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions. Abbott also pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on or near the coast, to speed deployment of state resources to any areas affected.

Nearly all of the state's 367-mile (591 kilometer) coast was under a hurricane or tropical storm warning or watch as of Thursday.

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UPDATE at 1 p.m.: While no mandatory evacuation is in place for Nueces County (Corpus Christi), the mayor urged residents to voluntarily evacuate, saying the area is up to and at the threshold of mandatory evacuations.

UPDATE at 12:15 p.m.: Mandatory evacuation ordered for Rockport, Port Lavaca, Port Aransas and Aransas Pass, along Gulf Coast. Several other coastal communities are also affected.

UPDATE at 12 p.m. on Thursday, August 24: Hurricane hunters say Harvey is now hurricane with 80 mph winds.

RELATED: Click here to track Harvey in the Hurricane Center
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UPDATE at 12 p.m. on Thursday, August 24: The San Antonio EOC will hold a press conference to discuss preparations for Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane and dump heavy rainfall across South and Southeast Texas.

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UPDATE at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 24th: National Hurricane Center expects Harvey to develop into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall along Texas Gulf Coast.

San Antonio will go into under a Tropical Storm Warning on Friday (it was previously under a flash flood watch).

RELATED: Track Harvey in the News 4 San Antonio Hurricane Center

Stay with News 4 San Antonio as we continue to provide updates on Harvey's path.

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UPDATE at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 24th from Meteorologist Jeannette Calle: Expect Tropical Storm Harvey to strengthen into a Category 1 Hurricane by Saturday morning when it makes landfall along the Texas coast. Currently, it appears the storm will hit the area around Corpus Christi and travel inland before possibly stalling out southeast of San Antonio.

RELATED: Track Harvey in the News 4 San Antonio Hurricane Center

RELATED: Watch the latest radar here

The immediate area along the Gulf Coast will see dangerous storm surge and several inches of rain, as high as 15 inches of rain.

Most of the Gulf Coast areas remain under a Hurricane Warning, while counties further inland are under a Tropical Storm Warning. Bexar, Comal and Guadalupe counties will go under a Flash Flood Watch on Friday.

Stay with News 4 San Antonio for the latest updates and conditions as Harvey moves toward the coast.
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Hurricane Warning issued for Texas Gulf Coast

MIAMI (AP) - A hurricane warning has been issued for a section of Texas' Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Harvey approaches.

The warning, issued Thursday morning, covers an area from Port Mansfield to Matagorda.

The storm's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph) but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says Harvey is expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Friday, when it's expected to approach the southern Texas coast.

RELATED: Track Harvey in the News 4 San Antonio Hurricane Center

As of 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 370 miles (595 kilometers) southeast of Port Mansfield and was moving north near 10 mph (17 kph).

By early Thursday, the storm's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 45 mph (70 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says additional strengthening is expected and Harvey could become a hurricane on Friday.

The tropical storm is centered about 410 miles (660 kilometers) southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, and is moving northwest near 7 mph (11 kph).

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions. Abbott also pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on or near the coast to speed deployment of state resources.
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Harvey regains tropical storm strength in Gulf of Mexico

MIAMI (AP) — Harvey regained tropical storm strength as it drifted in the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas early Thursday and forecasters said it could become a hurricane.

A hurricane warning was issued for the Texas coast Thursday morning, covering an area from Port Mansfield to Matagorda.

The storm's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 45 mph (70 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center said additional strengthening was expected and Harvey could become a hurricane by Friday, when it's expected to approach the southern Texas coast.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 370 miles (595 kilometers) southeast of Port Mansfield and was moving north near 10 mph (17 kph).

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions. Abbott also pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on or near the coast to speed deployment of state resources to any areas affected.

Emergency officials Wednesday asked residents along the upper Texas coastline to move or prepare to move inland. Those in low-lying areas were urged to seek higher ground, and those elsewhere were told to monitor official announcements closely.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Texas from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass. A storm surge watch was in effect from Port Mansfield to High Island.

On South Padre Island, people filled sandbags and loaded them into cars and vans Wednesday to take to protect exposed homes and businesses. Others in the forecast path of the storm sought out generators, plywood and other goods from hardware stores. Meanwhile, rice farmers in coastal Matagorda County moved quickly to harvest their crops.

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