In less than 18 hours, Hurricane Harvey has strengthened significantly as it moves along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Friday morning at 4am, Hurricane Harvey was still classified as a Category 2 storm. Just over 12 hours later, Hurricane Harvey become classified as a Category 4 storm with winds measured at 130 mph.

According to ABC News, as of 6pm Friday night, the hurricane was 45 miles away from the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas, with sustained winds of about 130 mph and stronger gusts.

The outer bands of Hurricane Harvey prompted the issuing of Tornado Watches and Tornado Warnings in various counties along the Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Fort Bend County.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm surge could reach 6' to 12' feet above ground level. Rainfall will be heavy, with an estimated 15 to 25 inches of rain falling in many areas and as high as 40 inches in some from Friday through Wednesday.

Friday afternoon, after 4pm, the Expo Center of Taylor County, in Abilene, announced it will take in Hurricane Harvey evacuees. The Expo Center of Taylor County is located at: 1801 E. S. 11th Street, Abilene, Texas. According to the Expo Center there will be free stalls, pens for animals, RV hookups and trailer storage. For more info call 325-795-6706.

Another Texas city has announced something similar. In De Leon, the city will be offering RV spaces for free, for hurricane evacuees. For more information click this link, or call (254) 893-2065 or e-mail: De Leon is located 156 miles north of Austin, or 82 miles east of Abilene.

Finally, Governor Greg Abbott has announced a suspension of hotel and motel taxes through September 6; providing some financial relief for travelers across the state.

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