Travel alerts issued for Hurricane Harvey
Airlines waiving change fees for affected passengers.
United States weather bureaus have upgraded tropical storm Harvey, bound for the Texas coastline, to a Category 1 hurricane, compelling local authorities to declare a state of disaster in 30 counties.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued an advisory at 1:00pm CDT and forecast the windstorm to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane before hitting the Texas coast late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
The hurricane is then expected to stall near the middle Texas coast through the weekend, with a potential tracking area including most of southern Texas, as well as parts of Louisiana and Mexico.
Data from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph, with higher gusts expected to develop as the storm surge builds.
The National Weather Service warned of “torrential rain” of up to 30 inches in southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana and a dangerous storm surge which could bring “life-threatening flash floods” and damaging winds.
Motorists should be prepared for delays and possible road closures. Widespread evacuations are being ordered along Texas’ Gulf Coast, while oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have already begun to evacuate workers.
Many major airlines, including American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United, have issued travel alerts for affected areas, with most waiving fees for travelers wishing to change or reschedule flights.
If you are travelling in or through the affected area, check your airline’s travel advisory for updates.
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