Carnival cruise ships redirected to New Orleans after Port of Galveston closes

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Four cruise ships that were set to dock in Galveston over the weekend are holding off until Hurricane Harvey passes, leaving almost 17,000 people stuck either on the ships or in another city they never planned on ending their trip in while they wait out the storm.

Two of the Carnival ships are diverting to New Orleans, where they will let people off if they don't want to wait around until it's safe to dock in Texas.

As for the Breeze, which was originally scheduled to turn around in Galveston on Sunday, Carnival indicated that information would be added soon. While Galveston schools plan to remain open, that could change as the storm moves closer, said spokesman Kyle Bolen. So far, only one of those - Tropical Storm Cindy, in June - has affected the Houston area.

Houston is notoriously flood-prone and forecast to receive steady rain for several days into next week.

"She did great, our social media is blowing up", Van Orstrand said.

"A lot of our infrastructure - water systems, delivery systems, wastewater pump stations, sewer systems - most of those have been upgraded", Yarbrough said. "They left before us and chose to stay", she said. Authorities in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, meanwhile, ordered mandatory evacuations for areas south of the Intracoastal Water Way effective at 6 a.m. local time.

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Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb urged residents to be proactive - before it is too late.

Evacuation orders continued to pour in on Thursday.

Port officials expected gale force winds within 12 hours of the decision. But state officials also say they have no count on how many people have actually left their homes.

Harvey is now about 70 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas , according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane force winds are not quite ashore but are within a couple dozen miles of land.

The bread section of a Kroger store is empty as people prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Harvey on August 24, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in Texas for the cities of Aransas Pass and Portland and the counties of San Patricio and Brazoria.