Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference Friday to discuss the latest with Hurricane Harvey and emergency preparations across the state. Watch the video above.

The governor said he will be in San Antonio on Friday to visit a hurricane shelter. Read our coverage here.

“We can already tell at this stage that this is going to be a very major disaster,” Gov. Aboott said during the conference on Friday. “All state parks will be open to evacuees at no charge.

“Right now we have the demonstrated ability shelter more than 41,000 evacuees if the need arises. The bottom line is the state of Texas, in collaboration with officials at the local level, are responding to this hurricane in a very aggressive way.”

Read related Rivard Report coverage:

  • As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast Friday, San Antonio is receiving evacuees trying to get out of the now-Category 3 storm’s path. The area Red Cross has set up shelters and is recruiting volunteers to assist those seeking refuge from the “life-threatening” storm. [Full story]
  • Denise Schwertfeger and her family were just settling into their new home near the beach in Corpus Christi when she learned a dangerous hurricane was headed her way and the house would likely end up under water. She packed a few essentials, hurriedly buckled her 4-year-old and 2-month old sons into her car, and started driving toward San Antonio. Joining her on the late-night journey Thursday were her sister and 15-year-old niece, along with two cats and the cremated remains of two other family members and a beloved dog. [Full story]

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • As Hurricane Harvey barrels toward the Texas coast, Texans are bracing for extreme flooding and potential damage to their communities. Here’s what you need to know. [Full story]
  • The evacuation ahead of Hurricane Rita in 2005 was marked by crowded roads and frustrated residents. But state officials say they’re better prepared now. Read our seven-part “Road From Rita” series from 2015, done in collaboration with the Beaumont Enterprise. [Full story]
  • In March, the Tribune partnered with ProPublica to launch a multimedia project looking at the dangers for the Houston region, amid worries region is a sitting duck when the next big hurricane comes. The potential impact would be felt far beyond the region. Revisit our series here. [Full story]

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