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Government to Jefferson Co. residents – 1st response will NOT be able to reach you if you stay

Jefferson County government released “an Urgent Alert to Jefferson County Residents” at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday.

“Hurricane Laura is approaching Southeast Texas and will land Wednesday evening,” the statement read. “This Category 3 storm will continue to gain strength and cause catastrophic and life threatening conditions. If you choose to remain, first response teams will NOT be able to reach you during the expected 24 hours of high intensity winds.”

The time to evacuate is now. Storm surge is expected at 9 to 13 feet with extensive flooding and possible tornadoes, the statement concluded.

To ensure the safety of H-E-B customers and employees and in accordance with H-E-B’s existing inclement weather protocol, H-E-B stores located throughout the Golden Triangle are closing Tuesday at 8 p.m. with modified hours Wednesdayand Thursday, weather permitting.

Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin on Tuesday, when he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura.

Additionally, the governor announced he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind and flooding.

The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating. There are also over 225,000 hotel rooms available across the state to provide shelter to evacuees.

A full list of mandatory and voluntary evacuations can be found on the Texas Hurricane Center web page.

Abbott urged Texans to take action now to protect themselves and their property.

“Texans in the path of this storm should waste no time preparing for the impact of Hurricane Laura and take immediate action to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” he said. “I urge our Southeast and coastal communities to heed the guidance of local officials, follow evacuation orders, and remain vigilant as we brace for the impact of Hurricane Laura. The State of Texas will continue to monitor this storm and provide the resources needed to keep Texans safe.”