Harvey officially became a hurricane around noon today as winds reached 80 miles an hour, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. It appears that it will be the first hurricane to hit the Texas Coast in nine years.
That would make it the first hurricane to hit the Texas coast since Ike and Dolly in 2007, and the first hurricane to hit Corpus Christi since Celia in 1970.
Aransas Pass, Rockport, and Port Aransas this afternoon issued mandatory evacuation orders. Corpus Christi is under a voluntary evacuation order.
Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha says the city is handing out free sandgage, maximum twenty per person, and he says homeowners need to take steps now in preparation.
"Secure anything that could become airborne, and that means lawn furniture, potted plants, lawn furniture, etc," he said.The City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County today also ordered the first evacuations, ordering high profile RVs and vehicles off beach roadways.
The New Braunfels ISD has cancelled the first day of classes, which was set for Monday.
The National Weather Service is also increasing its estimate of the rain that could fall in metro San Antonio, saying we could get 6 to 8 inches in the metro, with a lot more to the east and south.
Forecaster David Zalinski of the National Weather Service says areas of the upper Texas coast could get 15 to 25 inches of rain, leading to massive storm surge.
"We have had a couple of hurricane hunter aircraft into Harvey overnight, and those winds have increased to 45 miles per hour," he said.
Harvey's movements are far from certain over the coming 24 hours, and all predictions could change.