A hurricane is set to hit Texas.  Amarillo is standing by, ready to help.

*UPDATE* Hurricane Harvey is now a category 3 with 120 MPH winds.

Hurricane Harvey strengthened into a Category One hurricane on Thursday.  It is expected to hit the Texas coastline this weekend, possibly as a Category Three.  It will be the first hurricane to hit the Lone Star State in almost 10 years.  While a major disaster isn’t anticipated, locally resources are being marshaled in the event sister cities down south need emergency assistance.

After the mass evacuations following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s strike on the Gulf Coast in 2005, Amarillo is staying prepared.  Many Katrina evacuees found themselves in Amarillo.  And Amarillo had a problem for which it wasn’t quite prepared.  That mistake won’t be repeated.

Amarillo’s Office of Emergency Management is on standby, but in reality, they are always on guard and on call.  They do have a plan in place to meet the needs of any cities requesting assistance.  The Red Cross is also preparing to act if needed.  Like everyone else, both can only wait out the storm, hope for the best, and be ready to act quickly and on short notice. Not only do people want to help but everyone desires to represent the panhandle and Amarillo well.

In the unlikely event evacuees make their way to the High Plains the city will house them in the same manner as they did for Hurricane’s Katrina, Rita, and Ike.  If you have champagne from 2005 you might want to toss it.  It was a terrible year.