Cruise Ships Give Hurricane Harvey a Wide Berth

Hurricane Harvey Disrupting Cruise Vacations Out of Texas Ports

It is expected to remain closed until the storm has passed and a port assessment has been completed.

The center says Harvey has sustained wind speeds of 130 miles per hour (209kph) as the powerful storm churns off the Texas coast.

When forecasters talk about the storm's minimum central air pressure, they're doing so because it is a key way to measure the intensity of the storm.

Eight million people are under hurricane warnings, and almost 1 million others are under tropical storm warnings. Harvey is forecast to become a Category 3 by the time it makes landfall.

Hurricane Harvey looks to hit about the same area as one of the strongest and deadliest hurricanes to ever smack the United States: the Indianola Hurricane of 1886. About 150 people died, putting it in the top 25 most fatal hurricanes. The Port of Galveston was closed Friday amid the hurricane threat.

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"The next scheduled voyages for Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor will be shortened with itineraries to be determined", the cruise line said. With the port shut down to ship traffic, cruise-goers are forced to wait offshore - possibly all the way until Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Roger Quiroga, the Port of Galveston's external affairs director. Cruise details will be finalized once we have confirmed our arrival into Galveston.

The other Carnival ship remained docked in Mexico on Friday, and the plan was to head to Galveston Saturday afternoon if conditions allow. The ship plans to leave Cozumel on Friday night and start its journey back to Galveston.

"Evacuation won't be much an option after 5:30 to 6 this afternoon", he said. This meant that four ships which were set to dock over the weekend were unable to get to Galveston, and even if they had been able to, they would have just been unloading their passengers into a hurricane.

Harvey is expected to make landfall overnight, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind to portions of the Texas coast. Harvey was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane early Saturday morning, but its path slowed to a crawl and the potential for heavy rain and disastrous flooding will continue.

Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, said Friday that two key reservoirs in the flood control system - at the Addicks and Barker dams - are now near-empty and are in no danger of flooding neighborhoods close by.

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Houston Independent School District has cancelled Monday classes.

"There's definitely more of a ramped up effort", she said. Thousands of people have headed north so far.

"Right now we are being asked to stay onboard for an undetermined amount of time", said Bravo.

Evacuation orders continued to pour in on Thursday. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in Texas for the cities of Aransas Pass and Portland and the counties of San Patricio and Brazoria.

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