Port of Galveston Closes as Harvey Strengthens to Hurricane

Generic Hurricane Photo
Photo by iStock Getty Images/Guido72

Harvey has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, forcing mandatory evacuations in parts of Texas and the closure of the Port of Galveston.

Gale force winds are expected to reach Galveston within 24 hours, and the port remains closed to all vessel traffic and commercial activities, a port representative tells Travel Agent.

According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, Harvey has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for parts of Texas, including Rockport, Calhoun County, Port Aransas, and San Patricio County.

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The storm could become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall, and it is forecast to bring dangerous flooding to southern and eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana from Friday into early next week, with up to two feet of rain possible at the local level.

Cruise Updates

Carnival Cruise Line guests scheduled to depart on cruises from Galveston this weekend are asked to sign up for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473), a cruise line representative tells Travel Agent:

  • Carnival Freedom 08/26/17 - CCL1   
  • Carnival Valor 08/26/17 - CCL2      
  • Carnival Breeze 08/27/17 - CCL3   

We are closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey and are continuing to evaluate the projected path and potential impact on our operations in Galveston this weekend, Carnival said. At this time we have not announced any changes to our scheduled itineraries. We will provide further updates as they become available. 

"Liberty of the Seas is keeping a safe distance behind the storm as she makes her way back to Galveston," a Royal Caribbean representative tells Travel Agent. "We are actively monitoring path and progression of Hurricane Harvey and will make sure to inform our guests of any itinerary changes."

The move follows a number of cruise itinerary adjustments due to Harvey issued earlier this week.

Flight Updates

American Airlines is allowing travelers impacted by the storm to change their flight with no fee. Customers traveling through Austin, Beaumont / Port Arthur, College Station, Corpus Christi, Houston (both HOU and IAH), McAllen / Mission and San Antonio in Texas, as well as Lake Charles in Louisiana, can rebook with no fee if they bought their ticket by August 23 and are scheduled to travel August 25 – 27, with rebooked travel to take place through August 30 between the same city pair in the same cabin class (or pay the difference).

United Airlines has issued a change fee waiver for new flights departing on or before August 30 through Austin, Brownsville, College Station, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Houston, McAllen and San Antonio in Texas in the originally ticketed cabin between the same city pair. The original travel date must have been August 25 – 27.

Delta has issued a change waiver for flights through both Houston airports booked August 25 – 26. The ticket must be reissued on or before August 29 with rebooked travel to take place no later than that same day.

Southwest Airlines has issued a change waiver for flights through Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, Harlingen and San Antonio for customers with flights booked August 25 through 27. Customers may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pair.

Finally, JetBlue is waiving change and cancellation fees and fare differences for customers traveling August 25 – 26 through Austin, Houston and New Orleans. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment. Original travel must have been booked on or before August 23.

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