UPDATE: Hurricane Harvey makes landfall

Click here to watch the storm’s progress LIVE, courtesy of Galveston.com.

The image shows a live shot from Galveston’s sea wall.


HOUSTON (AP) – The Latest on Hurricane Harvey as it takes aim at the Texas coast (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

The Coast Guard has sent two helicopters to try to rescue the crews of three tugboats in distress near the Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas, Texas.

The Coast Guard at Corpus Christi says it received a mayday notification Saturday from crew members aboard the Belle Chase, Sandy Point and Sabine Pass.

Two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews have been sent to rescue the crews.

Texas is being pounded by Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night but has since been downgraded to a Category 1 as it moves inland. Forecasters warn that it could cause catastrophic flooding in the coming days.

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9:40 a.m.

Hurricane Harvey has knocked out power to nearly 300,000 customers along the Texas coast and has dumped nearly 20 inches (half a meter) of rain in some places.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages about 90 percent of the state’s electric grid, says there were 211,000 outages in the few hours after Harvey made landfall Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane.

That figure rose to 293,000 on Saturday, when the hurricane was downgraded to Category 1.

In addition to loss of power, emergency personnel in the communities northeast of Corpus Christi where Harvey made landfall are reporting loss of cellphone service and other forms of communication.

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9 a.m.

The rain was so torrential along Interstate 45 coming out of Galveston as Hurricane Harvey settled over southeast Texas that motorists had to stop under bridges to avoid driving in whiteout conditions.

The downpour on Saturday has also caused minor street flooding along a highway in Dickinson, about 25 miles northwest of Galveston.

Harvey, the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, made landfall Friday night about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph (209 kph) winds.

It gradually weakened over the next several hours and the National Hurricane Center said that by 5 a.m. Saturday Harvey was downgraded to a Category 1.

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8:30 a.m.

A Texas mayor says Hurricane Harvey hit his coastal community “right on the nose” and left “widespread devastation.”

Rockport Mayor Charles “C.J.” Wax told The Weather Channel on Saturday that some homes and businesses were heavily damaged or even completely destroyed. Schools were also damaged.

He says emergency response system for the city of about 10,000 people has been hampered by the loss of cellphone service and other forms of communication.

Harvey made landfall Friday evening as a Category 4 hurricane but has since been downgraded to a Category 1. The National Hurricane Center says the threat in coming days is sustained rains that could unleash “catastrophic” flooding.

The city of Victoria, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Rockport, had received more than 16 inches of rain by Saturday morning.

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8:15 a.m.

Daybreak has revealed some of the damage caused when Hurricane Harvey came ashore overnight, including downed lamp posts and tree limbs in Corpus Christi and roof tiles torn off buildings.

Harvey came ashore along Texas’ Gulf Coast on Friday night as the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade. It has since been downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 hurricane, but the storm is expected to hover in the region for days and to dump as much as 40 inches (1 meter) of rain in places.

Corpus Christi’s marina has been left nearly unscathed, save an awning ripped from a restaurant entrance and a wooden garbage bin uprooted and thrown.

An old white sport fishing boat was partially submerged and several boats’ sails came unfurled and were ripped and whipping in wind gusts of more than 50 mph.

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7:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump has commended the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for his handling of the hurricane now hitting the Texas Gulf Coast.

In a tweet Saturday morning addressed to FEMA head Brock Long, Trump said: “You are doing a great job – the world is watching! Be safe.”

Hurricane Harvey, the fiercest to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, is posing the first major emergency management test of Trump’s administration.

In a separate tweet, Trump said he is monitoring the hurricane closely from Camp David and “We are leaving nothing to chance. City, State and Federal Govs. working great together!”

He also tweeted that “We have fantastic people on the ground, got there long before #Harvey. So far, so good!”

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5:45 a.m.

Harvey has been further downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it churns slowly inland from the Texas Gulf Coast, already depositing more than 9 inches of rain in South Texas.

Harvey made landfall about 10 p.m. Friday east-northeast of Corpus Christi as a Category 4, with winds in excess of 130 mph (210 kph).

But wind speeds quickly weakened and by early Saturday Harvey was downgraded. It continues to produce gusts of up to 120 mph (193 kph) and sustained winds of 90 mph (144 kph). The National Hurricane Center warns of “catastrophic flooding” over the next few days.

Emergency personnel in coastal communities like Rockport, just northeast of Corpus Christi, say there’s broad damage to buildings. But Rockport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims said early Saturday that firefighters were hunkered down at the city’s fire station waiting for conditions to improve to assess the damage.

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4:22 a.m.

Hurricane Harvey has settled over southeast Texas, dumping rain and lashing the state’s Gulf Coast with damaging winds.

The storm made landfall Friday night as a Category 4 with 130 mph (209 kph) winds. It gradually weakened over the next several hours and by early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said it back to a Category 2 – still sustaining winds of 110 mph (185 kph) as of 3 a.m.

Early damage reports from Gulf Coast cities included collapsed roofs and walls. One community transported multiple people from a senior living home to the county jail for treatment after a roof caved in.

But officials remained largely unable to assess the damage before daylight.

The storm is expected to slow further and flood the area with rain through the middle of next week. The center warned that Harvey could produce life-threatening storm surges along a coastal area of more than 400 miles (643 kilometers).

1:30 a.m.

Emergency personnel in Aransas County, Texas, are assessing damage reports from Hurricane Harvey as they are able.

Rockport Volunteer Fire Department spokeswoman Gillian Cox tells the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the roof of Rockport’s high school has partially caved in. But Cox says social media posts that the school has “disappeared” are inaccurate.

Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth tells the newspaper that the courthouse in the city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi also has sustained major damage. Carruth says that a cargo trailer is halfway in the building.

Officials about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away in Aransas Pass say the Harbor Master Building along its coast has been destroyed. The Aransas Pass Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page of the building folding up from the high speed winds.

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12:20 a.m.

The city manager in Rockport, Texas, says multiple people have been taken to the county’s jail for assessment and treatment after the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed.

KIII-TV reports that 10 people have been treated in Rockport since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast city Friday night. The Associated Press was unable to reach an operator at the Aransas County Detention Center in Rockport just after midnight.

City manager Kevin Carruth tells the station that Rockport’s historic downtown area also has seen heavy damage. He says there also are reports of damage to vehicles and roofs.

Harvey is lashing a wide swath of southeast Texas with strong winds and torrential rain as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade.

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11:05 p.m.

Rockport, Texas, officials are receiving reports of damage from Hurricane Harvey, but emergency officials are having trouble responding.

Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth said by phone that he had heard reports of a tree falling into a mobile home and roofs collapsing on houses. The city, about 31 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi, had peak wind surges of more than 125 miles per hour, according to National Weather Service reports.

Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims says there are about 15 volunteer firefighters hunkered down at the city’s fire station waiting for conditions to improve enough for their vehicles to safely travel and to assess the damage to the city of about 10,000 people.

“There’s nothing we can do at this moment. We are anxious to get out there and make assessments, but we’re hunkered down for now,” he said.

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10 p.m.

Hurricane Harvey has landed.

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of the Category 4 hurricane made landfall about 10 p.m. Friday about 30 mph east-northeast of Corpus Christi between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas, bringing with it 130 mph (215 kmh) sustained winds and flooding rains.

The storm quickly grew Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, and then developed into a Category 2 storm early Friday. By Friday afternoon, it had become a Category 3 storm before strengthening to a Category 4. Harvey is the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the Texas coast since Hurricane Carla in 1961.

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9:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he has signed a disaster declaration for Texas as Hurricane Harvey nears on the middle Texas coast.

Trump announced his declaration in a posting on his Twitter account.

At 9 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was “almost onshore” with 130 mph (215 kmh) sustained winds.

A center statement said a station at Aransas Pass run by the Texas Coastal Observing Network had reported a sustained wind of 102 mph (165 kmh) with a gust to 120 mph (193 kmh).

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At 9 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was “almost onshore” with 130 mph (215 kmh) sustained winds.

A center statement said a station at Aransas Pass run by the Texas Coastal Observing Network had reported a sustained wind of 102 mph (165 kmh) with a gust to 120 mph (193 kmh).

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An elected official in the Texas Gulf Coast town near where Hurricane Harvey is expected to reach land says residents who chose to stay should write their Social Security numbers on their arms.

Patrick Rios, the mayor pro tem in Rockport, told KIII-TV of Corpus Christi earlier Friday that Harvey “is a life-threatening storm.”

He says those who stay “should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen,” implying that they should make it easier for rescuers to identify them.

Local officials along the Texas coast urged residents to take precautions and, if they were in the direct path of the storm, to evacuate. Thousands of people have headed north so far.

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8:10 p.m.

Hurricane Harvey is on the verge of landfall on the middle Texas Gulf coast.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 8 p.m. CDT Friday that the storm’s eyewall had begun coming ashore with 130 mph winds.

The NHC defines the eyewall as a ring of clouds that surround the eye of the cyclone. Landfall is when the eye reaches the coast.

Harvey strengthened rapidly late this week from a tropical depression to a dangerous Category 4 hurricane.

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7:55 p.m.

Officials said they had no idea how many Corpus Christi residents heeded their urge to voluntary evacuate the city of 325,000 and nearby low-lying areas taking the brunt of the storm.

Nueces County spokesman Tyner Little said traffic inland “was not hugely heavy as we’ve seen with other hurricanes.”

He said the local sheriff said 90 percent of Port Aransas had left.

Nevertheless, Little said county officials were “kind of freaked out” because the hurricane was tracking closer to Corpus Christi than officials had expected.

Driving into the city on an empty interstate Friday evening, a reporter saw flames flaring from a half-dozen stacks, casting an eerie glow beneath scudding, slate gray hurricane clouds.

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7:40 p.m.

Harvey went from not even a tropical storm to a major Category 4 hurricane in 56 hours, an incredibly fast intensification for a storm.

On Wednesday at 10 am CDT, the National Hurricane Center said Harvey – which had been a tropical storm that faded away on Aug. 19 – had reformed as a tropical depression, a step below a named storm. Harvey’s maximum winds were 35 mph.

And by 6 p.m. CDT Friday, Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds and knocking on the Texas coast as what will likely be the strongest hurricane to hit the US in about 13 years.

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7:10 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey heads toward the Texas coast, a Corpus Christi official says he’s confident the city pumps would clear out floodwater if the storm surge inundates the downtown area behind the seawall.

Mark Van Vleck, assistant city manager for public works, says that the pumps are on back-up emergency generators.

He says, “We have put most things on emergency generators that need to. Now we’re just following the plan.”

His biggest concern was the wind knocking out power and topping trees, adding, “and then after that it will be the heavy rains.”

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7 p.m.

Some spots in Texas and Louisiana are offering free or discounted places for Hurricane Harvey evacuees to stay.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Friday afternoon opened Texas state parks to hurricane evacuees to camp for free. Several parks on the coast and in South Texas have been closed for the hurricane, but the Texas Parks and Wildlife department posted a map of available camping sites away from the path of the hurricane to its website.

The Texas Association of Campground Owners says they have identified 12 campgrounds and RV parks with space for Hurricane Harvey evacuees as well and urged people to check http://www.texascampgrounds.com and http://www.texascabinrentals.com for spaces.

Vacation rental company Airbnb says it has started connecting evacuees and relief workers with short-term lodging with its hosts free of charge as part of its Disaster Response Program through its website.

Louisiana’s Office of Parks announced Friday that evacuees can stay at cabins or campsites in any of eight north Louisiana state parks for half price. Cabins are available at six of the sites. Campsites are available at all eight.

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6:20 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say if a shelter in place order is issued, residents should immediately take action to do so.

FEMA on Friday urged residents to charge cell phones and to download the agency’s phone app, follow them on Twitter at FEMAregion6 or follow FEMA on Facebook.

Six federal Urban Search and Rescue task forces have been staged in San Antonio in preparation. Other support personnel as well as National Flood Insurance program officials have been stationed in other areas of Texas.

The agency has set up support bases near Seguin, Texas, and other areas closer to the projected hurricane path to store supplies including more than 96,000 liters of water, 306,000 meals and 4,500 tarps and blankets. State, local and tribal officials will be responsible for distributing those materials as requested and needed.

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6:05 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 4 storm.

The center says Harvey has sustained wind speeds of 130 mph (209 kph) as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm.”

The storm quickly grew Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, and then developed into a Category 2 storm early Friday. By Friday afternoon, it had become a Category 3 storm before strengthening to a Category 4. It’s forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday.

The storm is 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Corpus Christi.

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6 p.m.

Hurricane Harvey looks to hit about the same area as one of the strongest and deadliest hurricanes to ever smack the United States: the Indianola Hurricane of 1886.

The National Hurricane Center says the Indianola hurricane ranks as the fifth strongest hurricane to make U.S. landfall, behind the 1935 Keys hurricane, 1969’s Camille, 2006’s Katrina and 1992’s Andrew. About 150 people died, putting it in the top 25 most fatal hurricanes.

MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel says Indianola was a thriving city before it was struck and it never came back. According to Texas Escapes magazine, it’s now pretty much a ghost town.

Emanuel says that Harvey “is going around the same place.”

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5:40 p.m.

More than 15,000 people aboard three Carnival Cruise Line ships scheduled to return to Galveston, Texas, this weekend face delays or detours due to Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico. The Port of Galveston was closed Friday amid the hurricane threat.

A statement Friday from the Miami-based cruise line says the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor were at sea and would remain a safe distance from the hurricane. Both ships were originally scheduled to dock in Galveston on Saturday but will instead stop in New Orleans to replenish supplies.

The Carnival Freedom and the Carnival Valor each carry about 4,800 passengers and crew. The statement says they’ll resume their return to Galveston as soon as possible.

The Carnival Breeze was scheduled to return to Galveston on Sunday. It’s spending Friday night in Cozumel, Mexico. That ship has more than 6,000 on board. The Carnival statement said the ship would depart Saturday for Texas to be in position when the Port of Galveston reopens.

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5:15 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says that sustained hurricane-force winds are about to move onshore as Hurricane Harvey nears landfall on the Texas coast.

The center said late Friday afternoon that a sustained wind of 67 mph (108 kph) with a gust up to 81 mph (130 kph) has been reported at Aransas Pass.

Harvey is expected to make landfall overnight, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind to portions of the Texas coast.

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5:10 p.m.

Officials say rain from Hurricane Harvey could inundate Houston roads and neighborhoods as early as Saturday night.

Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, said Friday that two key reservoirs in the flood control system – at the Addicks and Barker dams – are currently near-empty and are in no danger of flooding neighborhoods close by. The district has electronic sensors installed along Houston’s bayous and waterways.

Lindner did not single out neighborhoods in Houston, saying all of the nation’s fourth-largest city and its outlying areas face flooding in a storm as large as Harvey.

Houston is notoriously flood-prone and forecast to receive steady rain for several days into next week.

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4:50 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey nears landfall, Harris County’s top elected official says he isn’t calling for an evacuation for residents of the county that includes Houston and many of its suburbs. That’s despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suggesting people in Houston should head north, away from the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ed Emmett, the Harris County judge, says that while the hurricane is expected to dump lots of rain on Houston, the city isn’t expected to receive large amounts of storm surge as well. Other communities on the Texas coast are expecting that.

Emmett said he had spoken to Abbott Friday afternoon and acknowledged residents of the nation’s fourth-largest city might have gotten a “mixed message.” But he said residents should stay put, in part because it’s too early for officials to determine where the most flooding would occur.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked people in the city to stay in their homes and off the roads to the extent possible. He said there might be a “greater danger” in having people who don’t need to be evacuated onto roads that could flood.

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4:30 p.m.

Houston officials are showing signs of frustration after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged anyone who can to evacuate before Hurricane Harvey arrives.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday tweeted “please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse.” His plea came shortly after Abbott held a news conference urging Gulf Coast residents to pack up and leave, whether or not their cities are under evacuation orders.

The spokesman of emergency operations in Houston’s Harris County was even more direct. Francisco Sanchez tweeted: LOCAL LEADERS KNOW BEST.

No evacuation orders have been issued for Houston. The mixed signals between the Texas governor and local officials are emerging just hours before Harvey is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 storm.

Abbott has repeatedly suggested since Thursday that not enough people are evacuating. But state officials also say they have no count on how many people have actually left their homes.

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4:15 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has powered up to 125 mph  (201 kph) as it bears down on the Texas coast, with its eye about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

The center said in its Friday afternoon update that the hurricane is traveling northwest at 10 mph (16 kph).

Hurricane force winds are not quite ashore but are within a couple dozen miles of land. Tropical storm force winds have already been measured in Aransas Pass, Texas.

The hurricane center said some additional strengthening is possible before Harvey makes landfall overnight.

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4 p.m.

Texas officials say they have no estimates on how many people along the coast are heeding warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Harvey makes landfall.

But Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday continued insisting that too many people are staying put. He urged anyone with the ability to flee the Gulf Coast to do so but stopped short of criticizing local officials who haven’t ordered mandatory evacuations.

State emergency officials have identified at least eight counties and seven cities that have issued mandatory evacuations. More than a dozen others are under voluntary evacuations.

Nim Kidd is the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. He says there’s no good way of telling how many people have evacuated and that congested highways along the Gulf Coast are a poor indicator of whether enough families are leaving.

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3:50 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is making plans to travel to Texas early next week to monitor the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the president is planning to go to Texas next week as the Gulf region prepares for the hurricane to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday as a powerful Category 3 hurricane.

The president was briefed Friday by the heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security officials on the storm.

The Trump administration is encouraging people in the path of the hurricane to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials.

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3:45 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast, motorists were lining up in to fill up their gas tanks.

At one convenience store in Houston’s Meyerland neighborhood on Friday, at least 12 cars were lined up to fill up their gas tanks. A steady stream of customers entered and exited the store, buying everything from soda to chips.

Brent Borgstedte said it was the fourth gas station he’d gone to Friday to try and fill up his son’s car. The 55-year-old said he’d already stocked up on supplies to ride out the storm and the flooding that is predicted for the Houston area.

Borgstedte said, “I don’t think anybody is really that worried about it. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve been through several hurricanes.”

Borgstedte said the heavy rainfall could be the big problem for his neighborhood, which has a history of flooding, including the past two years.

Borgstedte, who is an insurance agent, said he expects to be very busy next week.

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3:35 p.m.

Texas officials say shelters that are opening statewide as Hurricane Harvey barrels toward the coast won’t ask arriving families about their immigration status.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday the main focus is on safety and “the protection of life.” Harvey is set to make landfall a week before a new “sanctuary city” crackdown in Texas signed by Abbott takes effect.

The law allows police officers to ask people about their immigration status during routine stops. It also threatens police chiefs and sheriffs with jail time if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Texas’ largest cities, including Dallas and Houston, have asked a federal judge to stop the law from taking effect Sept. 1

Abbott also expressed no concerns about inland U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints hampering evacuation efforts near the Texas-Mexico border.

Harvey has been upgraded to a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. It’s expected to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday morning.

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3:30 p.m.

Corpus Christi officials say American Airlines has joined other airlines in canceling all flights in and out of the city’s airport through the weekend as Hurricane Harvey approaches Texas.

The city said in a news release Friday afternoon that American has followed United and Southwest Airlines in canceling all flights through the weekend at Corpus Christi International Airport.

The city had earlier Friday that all flights were being canceled for the rest of the day.

The hurricane has been upgraded to a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. It’s expected to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday morning.

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3:15 p.m.

The mayor of Corpus Christi is warning residents about the dangers of flooding and told them to be aware of warnings issued by officials as Hurricane Harvey heads toward Texas.

Mayor Joe McComb said at a news conference Friday, “If you understand what water can do when it’s rising fast and moving – it can be deadly.”

He said he doesn’t know how many people remained in low-lying areas after voluntary evacuations were advised, but he thought there had been a positive response.

Harvey was upgraded to a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. The storm is expected to make landfall Friday night or Saturday morning on the middle Texas coast.

McComb says he had seen a lot of traffic from people leaving town, which also likely included those outside of low-lying areas.

He says, “People’s lives are our main function. Property is number two at this point.”

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2:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is encouraging the public to prepare for Hurricane Harvey before it makes landfall in Texas.

Trump says on Twitter that he’s encouraging “everyone in the path of #HurricaneHarvey to heed the advice & orders of their local and state officials.” His tweet included a link with more information on the storm.

Harvey was upgraded to a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. The storm is expected to make landfall Friday night or Saturday morning on the middle Texas coast.

Trump was briefed on the storm earlier in the day and was expected to monitor Harvey during the weekend at Camp David.

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2:50 p.m.

A water management official says large “supersacks” of sand are being used to reinforce a damaged section of floodwall east of Houston and will be enough to withstand the storm surge Hurricane Harvey will bring.

Phil Kelley is general manager of Jefferson County Drainage District Number 7. He says there are also 20 pumping stations in the area of Port Arthur, along the Louisiana border, to absorb and redirect stormwater that floods the area.

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm. It’s forecast to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

Officials discovered early this month that a section of the concrete wall in Port Arthur was damaged and cracked. The floodwall is part of a hurricane flood protection system that safeguards Port Arthur and several surrounding cities.

Kelley said Friday that he’s confident the floodwall is reinforced enough to withstand a storm surge of up to 10 feet. (3 meters)

He says the area is “not at the mercy of the bayous or the tides” like other places and that the drainage district “can force our stormwater out of here.”

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2:40 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center is practically running out of scary words to describe Hurricane Harvey and get people to get out of its way.

The center has called Harvey “life-threatening,” ”dangerous” and “catastrophic.” The head of the National Weather Service talked of “grave risk.”

National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says, “We’re using every synonym we can find in the book. We hope they realize that this can kill them. And they need to get out of its way.”

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm. The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 120 mph (193 kph). It’s forecast to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

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2:20 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says tide gauges off the coast of Texas indicate that storm surge is already occurring near Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.

That news comes as the National Hurricane Center says Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm.

The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 120 mph (193.11 kph) as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm.”

It’s forecast to make landfall on the mid-Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday.

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2:10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm.

The center says Harvey has maximum wind speeds of 120 mph (193.11 kph) as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast. Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm.”

The storm quickly grew Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane, and then developed into a Category 2 storm early Friday. By Friday afternoon, it had become a Category 3 storm. It’s forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday.

The slow-moving storm is fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters. Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm” with landfall predicted late Friday or early Saturday between Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile (48-kilometer) stretch of coastline about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi.

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2 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm.

Weather conditions are deteriorating along the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey nears landfall. Water levels are rising and winds are already blowing with tropical storm force.

The center said Friday afternoon that the hurricane is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind to portions of the Texas coast.

National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says, “The tropical storm force winds have already commenced on the Gulf Coast. You’ve essentially run out of time for outdoors preparations. You need to find a safe place and you need to stay there.”

The center says sustained winds were still holding at 110 mph (177 kph). Forecasters have said it will intensify and make landfall Friday evening or early Saturday as a likely Category 3 storm, meaning sustained winds topping 115 mph (185.07 kph).

The center says swells generated by the hurricane are already affecting the coasts in Texas, Louisiana and northeast Mexico, and those swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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1:45 p.m.

Officials in Vermilion Parish on Louisiana’s coast have called for a voluntary evacuation as Hurricane Harvey heads for landfall in nearby Texas.

Rebecca Broussard is director of Vermilion Parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. She says about 10,000 residents live in the rural part of the parish covered by Friday’s voluntary evacuation order.

Earlier, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for southern Cameron Parish, a coastal parish at the Texas state line, to the west of Vermilion. That order affects an estimated 3,500 people.

Also, the City Council in the southwest Louisiana city of Sulphur declared a state of emergency Friday morning, in preparation for possible flooding rains from Harvey.

Harvey is forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

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1:40 p.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is warning people that Hurricane Harvey “is going to be a very major disaster.”

Abbott said Friday that he’s asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration.

Harvey is forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

Aside from savage winds and storm surges, the system was expected to drop prodigious amounts of rain. The resulting flooding, one expert said, could be “the depths of which we’ve never seen.”

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1:30 p.m.

As if nearly 3 feet (0.91 meters) of rain over the next several days, up to 12 feet (3.5 meters) of storm surge and triple-digit winds aren’t enough, Hurricane Harvey is also likely to spawn tornadoes.

Harvey is forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

The National Weather Service alerted that people to the north and northeast of Harvey’s eye may experience tornadoes.

University of Miami senior hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says tornadoes are very common during hurricanes, usually in the outer rain bands in the northeast quadrant of the storm. It’s because of the way the winds blow and rotate there.

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1 p.m.

The mayor of the popular Texas Gulf Coast city of Galveston says the city is expected to be inundated with water from Hurricane Harvey.

Mayor James Yarbrough said during a news conference Friday that Hurricane Harvey is expected to flood downtown streets. A storm surge of 2 feet (0.61 meter) to 4 feet  (1.22 meters) of water is expected to inundate much of the city while up 8 feet could cover other areas. Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water above the normal tide, generated by a storm.

He says a leading concern is that high tide will occur Saturday morning, shortly after Harvey makes landfall, and the water is not expected to recede for three or four days.

Galveston was lashed by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Yarbrough says a difference is that Ike passed through quickly while Harvey will linger and drop substantial rainfall.

He says utility lines and other infrastructure have been upgraded since 2008 to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Harvey is forecast to become a Category 3 by the time it makes landfall.

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11:50 a.m.

Forecasters say effects from Hurricane Harvey could be felt at far east as the Alabama coast and the western Florida Panhandle.

Harvey is forecast to make landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm. It’s predicted to slam into the Texas coast and dump torrential rains before moving eastward.

The National Weather Service says rip currents associated with Harvey could be a problem some 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) away in the Florida Panhandle.

Officials say that means there’s an elevated risk for hazardous surf conditions over the weekend in places including the Alabama coast and around Pensacola, Florida.

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11:40 a.m.

Forecasters now say there’s a good chance Hurricane Harvey may hit Texas twice, worsening projected flooding.

The National Hurricane Center’s official five-day forecast Friday has Harvey slamming the central Texas coast, stalling and letting loose with lots of rain. Then forecasters project the weakened but still tropical storm is likely to go back into the Gulf of Mexico, gain some strength and hit Houston next week.

Jeff Masters, Weather Underground’s meteorology director, said this could cause a collision of high water with nowhere to go. Harvey is projected to drop up to 3 feet (0.91 meter) of rain in some places over the next several days.

But a second landfall near Houston means more storm surge coming from the Gulf. Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water above the normal tide, generated by a storm.

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11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s keeping a close watch on Hurricane Harvey.

On Twitter Friday, Trump said he “Received a #HurricaneHarvey briefing this morning” from top federal officials.

In another statement on Twitter, Trump said he had spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. He added: “Closely monitoring #HurricaneHarvey developments & here to assist as needed.”

Trump tweeted Thursday, encouraging people to be prepared. Harvey is forecast to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

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11:15 a.m.

Corpus Christi officials say all flights out of the city’s airport have been canceled as Hurricane Harvey approaches.

The city said in a news release late Friday morning that the airlines had canceled all flights out of Corpus Christi International Airport for the rest of the day.

The city said the airport isn’t closed, but officials don’t anticipate much activity over the weekend. Runways will be closed as conditions warrant. The hurricane is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday morning.

The city says Southwest and United Airlines have no scheduled flights until Monday, while American Airlines hopes to resume service on Saturday.

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10:45 a.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says there’s still time for coastal residents in the path of Hurricane Harvey to get out of harm’s way. But he says they must leave immediately.

Abbott on Friday didn’t second-guess local officials who have called for voluntary and not mandatory evacuations. He told The Weather Channel that mayors and local leaders “know their terrain very well.”

Abbott has expressed concerns that not as many people are evacuating compared with previous storms as Harvey bears down on the state. Harvey is forecast to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

Abbott has activated about 700 members of the Texas National Guard in preparation for Harvey. The storm is set to be the first hurricane to make landfall on the Texas coast since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

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10:20 a.m.

Hurricane Harvey continues to swirl toward the middle Texas coast as it flirts with becoming a major Category 3 storm.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory as of 10 a.m. Friday places the storm about 115 miles (185 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi, moving 10 mph (17 kph) to the northwest. Sustained winds have been holding at 110 mph (177 kph).

Forecasters have said it will intensify and make landfall Friday evening or early Saturday as a likely Category 3 storm, meaning sustained winds topping 115 mph (185.07 kph).

Once the storm makes landfall, gradual weakening is forecast but because so much of the storm remains over the warm Gulf of Mexico, which fuels Harvey, the hurricane center says the weakening could be slower than normal.

That also means the storm is likely to be a huge rainmaker.  Predictions for a wide area of Texas from the coast and inland for rainfall measuring up to nearly 3 feet (0.91 meter) as the storm stalls and meanders well into next week.

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10 a.m.

An emergency management official on the Texas coast says a primary concern as Harvey approaches is heavy rain that could leave many towns isolated for days as they’re turned into “essentially islands.” Harvey is forecast to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 3 storm.

Melissa Munguia is deputy emergency management coordinator for Nueces  County. She says there are vast flatlands just inland from the central Texas coast that are prone to flooding.

The approximately 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain that Harvey may bring could leave towns in the area isolated well into next week. Munguia says that traffic backups were being seen Friday on heavily traveled roads such as Interstate 37 as people move inland to San Antonio and other locations.

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7:45 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center warns that conditions are deteriorating as Hurricane Harvey strengthens and slowly moves toward the Texas coast.

The center says preparations for the storm “should be rushed to completion” Friday morning along Texas’ central Gulf Coast. The center says the storm has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (177 kph), just shy of the benchmark for a Category 3 storm. Forecasters say the storm is expected to reach that mark before making landfall late Friday or early Saturday. Millions of people are bracing for a prolonged battering that could swamp dozens of counties more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) inland. Brock Long is the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He tells “Good Morning America” that Harvey is a “very serious” threat and that the window for evacuating is quickly closing. Long says he expects extensive damage from significant rain over the next three days.

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1:30 a.m.

Texas residents and officials are preparing for Hurricane Harvey, which the National Hurricane Center says has strengthened to a Category 2 storm. Harvey grew quickly Thursday from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane. Early Friday, the center reported it’s now at a Category 2. Fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, the storm is projected to become a major Category 3 hurricane. Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm” with landfall predicted late Friday or early Saturday between Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile (48-kilometer) stretch of coastline about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Corpus Christi. Texas officials have been expressing concern that not as many people are evacuating compared with previous storms as Hurricane Harvey bears down on the state.

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