(NBC News) Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 2 storm and is forecast to intensify to “major hurricane” status by the time it makes landfall along the Texas coast.
“The only thing predictable about this storm is that it’s unpredictable,” Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb warned Thursday as he urged residents to evacuate.
Texas has declared a state of emergency in 30 counties ahead of Harvey’s arrival.
Residents in the strike zone are boarding up their homes and stockpiling supplies.
Texas hasn’t seen a major hurricane since 2008, when Hurricane Ike killed more than 20 people across 30 states and caused billions of dollars in damage. Forecasters caution Harvey brings with it the potential for more mass devastation, including widespread flooding.
Harvey has the potential to stall inland for days, dumping more than two feet of rain in some already saturated areas.
“It’s going to be a dangerous storm, it has the potential to be catastrophic impacts,” says National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini.
While Harvey is still days away from impacting New Orleans, emergency managers there are scrambling to get turbines and pumps down for repairs back online to handle expected floodwaters.
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