Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlines effort to combat COVID-19 as areas evacuate ahead of Hurricane Laura

Gov. Abbott talks about state's preparations for Hurricane Laura
Gov. Abbott talks about state's preparations for Hurricane Laura

HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott made a disaster declaration for 36 more Texas counties ahead of Hurricane Laura at the same time he outlined ways local authorities are planning to cope with the challenge of the pandemic and evacuations.

Abbott urged families to isolate themselves and stay in hotels and motels to avoid being in areas with other people in shelters that are being established. He said state and local authorities will be making decisions to handle people by placing fewer people in certain sheltering areas and making more trips with evacuation bus shuttles to help people leave areas safely.

Abbott stressed that area residents only have a few more hours left to prepare themselves and their property for the coming storm, which could bring flooding in some areas, tornadoes and, very likely with this storm, high winds.

Abbott likened the storm to Hurricane Ike in 2008, saying the threat of high wind is probable with the possibility of gusts coming far inland.

“Everyone needs to be very cautious as they proceed in the coming days,” he said.

Abbott urged people to heed evacuation orders and to avoid putting emergency responders in challenging situations by staying behind.

Several evacuation centers are in the works or already up and running.

San Antonio

254 Gembler Road opens at 3 p.m.


9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard at 4 p.m.

Dallas-Fort Worth

State buses to move people to different locations

Mesquite Reception Center opens at 7 p.m.

15515 East Interstate Highway 20


Ellis County - Knights of Columbus Hall

850 South Interstate Highway 45

Ennis, Texas

The forecast track of Hurricane Laura has the eye of the storm making landfall in Southeast Texas, but parts of the Galveston coastline are inside the cone of uncertainty.

About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.

An Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist, Amanda Cochran is a Houston transplant from New York City who has embraced her new city with both arms -- living and breathing news and all things Texas.