In anticipation of Tropical Depression Harvey making landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast, Texas governor Greg Abbott has preemptively issued a declared a state of emergency for 30 counties, including Nueces and Jim Wells counties.

The other counties included in the declaration are Aransas, Austin, Bee, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Brazoria, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton and Wilson counties.

Forecasts from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center expect this storm to intensify in the coming days causing severe flooding, storm surges and damaging winds. Earlier today the Governor ordered the State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level as the storm approaches, and made available any and all state resources to assist in preparation, rescue and recovery efforts.

“Texans believe in taking action and always being prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Governor Abbott. “That is why I am taking every precaution prior to Tropical Depression Harvey making landfall. Preemptively declaring a state of disaster will allow Texas to quickly deploy resources for the emergency response effort in anticipation of the storm’s hazardous conditions.”

Tropical Depression Harvey is expected to develop in the Gulf of Mexico Friday at 7 a.m., the National Weather Service announced. By 7 a.m. Saturday, Harvey could reach areas east of I-35, with winds moving 39 to 73 miles per hour. Some hazardous rain is possible and there will be a slight risk of tornados.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Fayette, Gonzales, Wilson, Karnes, DeWitt and Lavaca counties.