Harris County immediately waives fees for all toll roads to aid evacuation
As Hurricane Laura quickly approaches, residents in certain affected areas have been forced to evacuate. To that end, the Harris County Toll Road Authority announced Tuesday, August 25 that it has waived fees immediately. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo granted the order at 9:20 am.
“Judge Hidalgo granted free passage to motorists on the Harris County Tollway (HCTRA) system to support evacuations,” the county said, in a press release. “Tolls will remain waived to accommodate any relevant activities associated to the region’s response and recovery.”
The toll road authority has also enacted its emergency operations center (EOC) procedures plan and increased operations to activation level from level 3 to “level 2” – partial activation, according to a statement. Full initiation of eoc procedures and a “level 1” activation could occur based on the storm’s future track, per the county.
With a mandatory evacuation in place for Galveston and potentially more for the Houston area, locals are urged to stay off the roads to allow those evacuating to do so safely.
“We want to make sure that we provide easy access for people who may be traveling throughout areas,” Hidalgo said in a press conference on Monday.
Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall between Wednesday night and Thursday morning as a Category 3 storm.