Evacuations are being issued in Texas as Hurricane Laura approaches, including mandatory evacuations in Galveston and some voluntary evacuations in Houston. Here are updates on recommended evacuations in the Houston-Galveston region, but please note that this can change rapidly. Stay tuned to your local news for the most updated evacuation news.
As of 2:30 p.m. Central, the following evacuations in Texas had been declared:
- Galveston residents have a mandatory evacuation of the entire city. They have until Wednesday morning to leave, but city services were suspended at noon on Tuesday, Texas Tribune reported. (The city clarified that it is not shutting down power or water, though those may be affected by the storm, and the Causeway is not closing this afternoon.) Police and fire services won’t be provided once winds reach tropical storm strength.
- Parts of the Houston area had evacuation orders too.
- Mandatory evacuations were issued for Jefferson County, Orange County (as of 6 a.m. Tuesday), and Port Arthur, Texas Tribune reported. Jefferson’s mandatory evacuation took place at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Click2Houston reported.
- Voluntary evacuations are in place for Galveston County, Chambers County, and Seabrook, Texas Tribune reported. Chambers County also has a mandatory evacuation for low-lying residents, Click2Houston reported.
- Galveston County also has mandatory evacuations in place for Bolivar Peninsula residents, and Bayshore areas of unincorporated Galveston County, including San Leon and Baycliff, Click2Houston reported. A voluntary evacuation was issued for people in the Freddiesville region that is on Highway 6.
- Baytown is under a voluntary evacuation, Click2Houston reported.
- Brazoria County has a voluntary evacuation for low-lying coastal communities outside of the levee, Click2Houston reported.
- Harris County: Voluntary evacuations issued for Zones A and B.
- City of La Porte has a voluntary evacuation, Click2Houston reported.
- City of Lake Jackson has a voluntary evacuation for low lying regions outside the levee, Click2Houston reported.
- City of Port Arthur has a mandatory evacuation as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, Click2Houston reported.
- City of Seabrook has a voluntary evacuation for people in low-lying areas, Click2Houston reported.
- Texas A&M University at Galveston has a mandatory evacuation, Click2Houston reported.
These evacuations can change frequently, so be sure to check your local weather station for the latest updates.
If you’re wanting to get a safe distance from the storm, the Texas Department of Transportation has provided maps that show possible evacuation routes from the Houston and Galveston regions and more. You can see the full maps here. A screenshot of the map for the Houston region is below. A PDF of the Houston region map is here.
An even better hurricane evacuation map that’s interactive is provided for the Harris County region by Harris County Emergency Management here. This shows evacuation routes, corridors, and identifications of zones.
Another map from TxDOT for the entire state can be found here.
An Evacuation Routes Map from the Houston-Galveston Area Council is here.
Before leaving, check with Google Maps for the latest traffic you’ll encounter. Remember: evacuating often leads to a much longer travel time than normal. So if you’re planning to leave, it’s far better to do so sooner rather than later.