Corpus Christi prepares as Hurricane Harvey inches closer to coast

Harvey barrels toward Corpus Christi packing powerful wind, rain

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Tropical storm force winds were already lashing Corpus Christi on Friday, as Hurricane Harvey inched closer to the coast.

Harvey barreled toward Corpus Christi packing powerful wind and rain. Many residents grabbed their belongings and boarded buses out of town.

"I think that God is going to protect us," Ashley Williams, who lives in Corpus Christi, said. "If our stuff floods, I mean, they are material things. We can always get that back, but I'm not willing to risk my child's life."

Others, though, such as Sandra Varela, have decided to ride it out. With food and water for a week, she hopes sandbags can stop floods from rushing into their home.

"My father is handicapped and my parents are pretty old, so financially we don't have the money to go ahead and take that ride out of town," Varela said.

The mayor did urge everyone to leave, but did not issue a mandatory evacuation order, calling it too much of a hardship.

"If we call for a mandatory, that means you got to start loading up patients from hospitals, from children's hospitals, our nursing homes and transporting them somewhere," Mayor Joe McComb said.

The governor said people need to heed the warnings and do it now.

"Suddenly people are going to realize, 'Wait this is a big storm coming our way. We have to get out.' By that time, it may be too late because the roads will be jam-packed," Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.