Gulf Coast braces for impact as Hurricane Harvey amasses Category 3 strength

A map of the Texas Coast is projected on a screen as Deb Nowinski, a disability integration coordinator, gives information to a caller regarding the approach of Hurricane Harvey at the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management Emergency Operations Center in Dickinson, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

The Gulf Coast prepared for the worst Thursday as Hurricane Harvey swirled towards the shoreline.

Labeled a "life-threatening storm" by forecasters, Harvey -- now a Category 1 hurricane -- is projected to become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall. The last storm that size to hit the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Millions of people across dozens of counties between Port O'Connor and Matagorda Bay -- an area that is mostly farmland interspersed with vacation homes -- are bracing for impact. Texans are evacuating, or stocking up on storm supplies like bottled water, sandbags and non-perishable foods.


The hurricane is supposed to reach the coast by late Friday or early Saturday.

Watch Harvey's progress with Sinclair station KEYE's "Austin Hurricane Tracker," an interactive map showing the storm's location and path.


Across the state, thousands of people are evacuating their homes.

Sinclair station KFDM in Beaumont, Texas, tracked traffic Thursday as Texans took heed of warnings and fled for higher ground.


Harvey holds the potential for 3 feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot (12-foot!) storm surges.

Sinclair stations KABB/WOAI in San Antonio aggregated the latest conditions on their websites' "Hurricane Center."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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