Officials in Vermilion Parish on Louisiana's coast have called for a voluntary evacuation while a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for locations in Cameron Parish south of the Intracoastal Waterway as Hurricane Harvey heads for landfall in nearby Texas.
Rebecca Broussard, director of Vermilion Parish's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said approximately 10,000 residents live in the rural part of the parish covered by Friday's voluntary evacuation order.
Earlier, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for southern Cameron Parish, a coastal parish at the Texas state line, to the west of Vermilion. That order affects an estimated 3,500 people.
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Also, the City Council in the southwest Louisiana city of Sulphur declared a state of emergency Friday morning, in preparation for possible flooding rains from Harvey.
Lori Boullion, who works at a Cameron feed and grocery store, says people who live in campers have headed north. And livestock trucks lined the road outside the store as cattle owners shipped their animals to higher ground farther north.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, Hurricane Harvey has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, making it a Category 4 storm. Once it makes landfall, Harvey will be the first major storm to hit the US since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.