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This story will be updated as major developments unfold.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked President Trump to issue a major disaster declaration Friday for areas of the state in the path of Hurricane Harvey.
“This is going to be a very major disaster,” Abbott said in a news conference broadcast by multiple outlets. “If you are in the areas between the Corpus Christi area and the Houston area, especially in low-lying areas, you need to strongly consider evacuating.”
Harvey is headed like a battering ram toward the Texas coast and was upgraded Friday afternoon to a Category 3 hurricane — a crushing storm that blows off roofs, snaps trees and blocks roads, leaving reconstruction costs in the billions — as of Friday morning.
The region could be dealing with flood conditions for up to two weeks, Abbott said. The hope in strongly urging people to evacuate, even from areas that are not subject to mandatory evacuation, is to avoid a scenario like Houston saw in 1989 the week after Tropical Storm Allison hit the Texas and Louisiana coastline.