'Life-threatening' Hurricane Harvey nears Texas

The hurricane is expected to hit Texas as a category 3 storm and could bring up to three feet of rain and threaten the oil rigs that dot the Gulf Coast.
4:09 | 08/25/17

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Transcript for 'Life-threatening' Hurricane Harvey nears Texas
We are closely watching hurricane Harvey growing in strength slowly making its way toward the Texas coast. Take a look at this view from the international space station showing just how massive Harvey is. It is expect to make landfall as a category 3 hurricane. Winds up to 120 miles an hour, could be even higher. It is the strongest storm to make landfall in over a decade. The first major hurricane to hit Texas in 18 years and it could bring historic rainfall. We are already seeing evacuations. Yeah, it is a major threat to this population there in the Texas coast and we have team coverage all across the storm zone. Ginger is tracking the very latest from right here in times square, good morning, ginger. Good morning to you, Amy and George and good morning, everyone. This is a giant storm. Especially for you in the united States. Can you see it here, the radar, the lashing outer bands to the southeast Texas coast, lightning already moving in from Houston to Victoria to Corpus Christi waking up this morning. This storm has started N less than 24 hours it will make landfall. Of course, you've got tropical storm warnings that extend all the way west to San Antonio and Austin and a flash flood watch. The rainfall and deadly or potentially deadly flooding. Even San Antonio and Austin could see 10 to 20 inches of rain, locally some places will see close to 3 feet. This is a lot of rain happening over the next five days or so. The wind speeds especially in this red zone, 110 miles per hour or higher as it makes landfall, Matt Gutman is right there in Corpus Christi. Matt, they are saying places could be uninhabitable for weeks or even months. Reporter: Yeah, could be pretty bad and just last night there wasn't a cloud in the sky in this bay and that storm is still about 160 miles out but just over the past few hours we've really started to feel those rain bands pelt us and also the wind coming much harder. You can see the water from the seawall is already starting to lap up here. All of this creating this turbocharged sense of urgency and this part of Texas. With hurricane Harvey's outer bands already lashing the gulf coast this morning a mass exodus is under way. Traffic piling up on freeways. As they say, get out of dodge. Reporter: In many counties evacuation is mandatory. Tens of thousands of Texans ordered to flee. The goliath storm is growing covering much of the gulf coast in this image from the international space station and this is the view from inside the storm. A hurricane hunter plowing through its center. The storm forecast to dump a biblical deluge of up to three feet of rain. After news that the storm exploded in size, residents in Corpus Christi besieging this hardware store. These people are here buying plywood, plank after plank of plywood. The line just to get to the cashier is 20 minutes long. Residents not taking it lightly. I'm 65 now and I don't want to die at 65. Reporter: In some areas like Houston panic as people scour for supplies. There's no more water. There's no more bread. The bread is already running out as well. Reporter: Lines for gas, wood and sand snaking around the block, some over three hours long. This is the line to get gas, absolute insanity over this hurricane. Reporter: Those in Harvey's 359 battening down the hatches as officials in an already inundated New Orleans contemplate a full evacuation of the city. The impact of the storm may be felt nationwide. Gulf refineries produce about 45% of the country's oil and one-third of the country's refineries are directly in the hurricane's path with hundreds of oil rigs dotting the coast. Now, ginger mentioned rain and also the storm surge. I want to give you a sense of how much higher the water in this bay could rise here now. At first they were predicting a four to six-foot storm surge. That's to about here. Now they're talking about a 12-foot storm surge. That's all the way up here and this could happen in high tide. On top of that the waves are forecast to be about 20 feet higher so they will easily wash over this seawall inundating this part of Corpus Christi. George. Okay, Matt, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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