HOUSTON – Houston-area officials are issuing voluntary evacuations and disaster declarations as Tropical Storm Beta continues to brew in the Gulf of Mexico.
For up-to-date information on Beta, visit here.
Here is a breakdown of the orders by city and county:
Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta issued a voluntary evacuation for low-lying coastal areas outside the protection levee, beginning on Saturday at 4 p.m. Officials also closed county beaches to vehicular traffic due to current high tides and impending storm surge, starting Saturday at 6 p.m.
All coastal residents and visitors need to continue to stay up-to-date on Tropical Storm Beta, as the storm is expected to become a Hurricane and conditions along the coast could change quickly.
Officials said those along the coast need to be prepared and have a plan if conditions worsen.
Galveston officials announced that they will stop carrying vehicles from Galveston to Bolivar. However, they are allowing vehicles and passengers from Bolivar to Galveston.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a voluntary evacuation order, effective 9 a.m. Saturday.
Officials said residents on the Bolivar Peninsula are strongly encouraged to seek safety further inland for the duration of this storm, especially vulnerable populations and those with medical needs.
The Peninsula could become cut off from the rest of the County and emergency services could be impacted, officials said.
Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia issued a disaster declaration on Saturday in advance of Tropical Storm Beta. He also issued a voluntary evacuation order for low-lying and flood-prone areas in the county.
“As always, we are acting out of an abundance of caution,” said Sylvia. “We have learned from past experience that we should always hope for the best, but plan for the worst case scenario.”
Residents are encouraged to be prepared to execute evacuation plan.
“We are encouraging citizens to do what they can to prepare their homes and families,” Sylvia said.
Those residents whose homes have been affected in past high rain or high storm surge events should consider moving to higher ground.
“This is a minimum recommendation," Sylvia said. “If you feel unsafe, if you feel like your home might be impacted by rains or storm surge inundation, please be proactive.”
Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown issued a voluntary evacuation of the West End, west of the Seawall, and low-lying areas of the island in response to the high tides and rainfall expected from Tropical Storm Beta.
The voluntary evacuation will go into effect beginning 10 a.m. Saturday.
Houston Public Works is temporarily lowering Lake Houston from 42 feet to 41.5 feet in anticipation of Tropical Storm Beta. Lake Houston is lowered when the National Weather Service predicts greater than three inches of rain within a 48-hour period, according to city officials.
It takes 24 hours to lower Lake Houston by 12 inches. Lake Houston has a normal pool elevation of 42.5 feet.
Property owners should secure property along the shoreline, officials said.
Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center issued a voluntary evacuation recommendation for the community of Sargent, the township of Matagorda, and the bayfront area of the City of Palacios.
Officials said low lying areas could flood and coastal areas of the county could experience road closures and high water.
The county has also declared a state of disaster to allow for state and federal assistance.
A low-lying area voluntary evacuation has been issued for the city of Seabrook.