Storm surge from Laura could force evacuations in Galveston, county judge warns

All residents of Southeast Texas are holding their breath, watching and waiting for the next shift in Laura’s projected path.  Back-to-back tropical threats from Marco and then Laura are expected to hit the Gulf Coast this week.  Although Marco may not be a significant concern for Texas at this point, Laura does have the potential for storm surge, according to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management.

“For now, we’re going to say Hurricane Marco is not a factor for us; unfortunately, we can’t say the same about Tropical Storm Laura,” Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said in a press conference on Sunday.

BACK-TO-BACK TROPICAL THREATS: Gulf Storms–The latest on Marco and Laura’s impact on Houston

According to the National Weather Service, Marco is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Monday.  Tropical Storm Laura has moved its trajectory slightly, placing it on a path to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border.

Weighing the threat of an tropical double strike, Galveston County’s Judge Mark Henry is warning residents in Galveston County ahead about the possibility of torrential rain and increasing strength of Laura.

“Once it clears Cuba, we’ll get more precise and agreed-upon tracks, and we’ll have better information with which to make decisions,” Henry told the Galveston Daily News.

Henry warned that Galveston residents should take Laura’s threat seriously, prepare now and think about where they may evacuate to once Laura gets closer to landfall.

“Our biggest concern always is people not take it seriously….It’s probably only going to be strong (Category) 1 or a weak Category 2….Our concern is people say, That’s not that big of a deal,” Henry told KHOU.

Texas has dedicated 100 buses to Galveston County in case an evacuation is needed.

alison.medley@chron.com

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