Residents in Galveston and Port Arthur, Texas, were ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Laura strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is forecast to make landfall Wednesday night as a major Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 115 mph in eastern Texas.AutoCatastropheProperty
The mandatory evacuation order was signed at 6 a.m. as the storm headed toward Houston.
The mandatory evacuations will be ongoing through early Wednesday, island officials said, citing the "uncertainty of the path and the heightened intensity of this storm."
Officials warned that city services would be suspended at 12 p.m. local time. The state will be staging buses throughout the area for those residents who have signed up for transportation assistance.
"With the uncertainties of this storm and its increasing strength, we need to take all necessary precautions to protect our residents," Galveston Mayor Craig 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."