(CNN)As Hurricane Harvey gains strength, residents along the Texas coast aren’t taking any chances; they’re filling sandbags, stocking up on water and boarding up windows.
In Corpus Christi, where Harvey could make landfall and Mayor Joe McComb has issued a voluntary evacuation order, Walmart shelves were clearing quickly, as the city canceled Friday’s dockets in city court and provided self-serve sandbags to residents.
Port Aransas on Mustang Island and nearby Portland issued mandatory evacuation orders. Houston, meanwhile, has canceled the first day of school on Monday.
Harvey is rapidly strengthening and is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph by the time it hits the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, the hurricane center said Thursday. After hitting Corpus Christi, the storm is expected to stall over the state, forecasters say.
Hurricane-force winds are a concern as the storm builds strength in the Gulf of Mexico, and a potential deluge and subsequent flooding may be a big danger as well, according to meteorologists.