Some people in Houston and surrounding Harris County have been ordered to evacuate before Hurricane Ike crashes ashore this weekend.
Also, a mandatory evacuation order has been issued today for Jefferson and Orange counties. That leave-the-area order affects more than 325,000 people in southeast Texas.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett today ordered evacuations in low-lying areas of the sprawling county, affecting "tens of thousands" of people in the Houston area.
In Hardin County, Judge Billy Caraway ordered a voluntary evacuation.
Forecasters expect Ike to make landfall by Saturday between Corpus Christi and Houston.
A hurricane watch is in effect from Port Mansfield to Cameron, Louisiana.
Parts of Southeast Texas also faced mandatory evacuations as Hurricane Gustav reached shore on Labor Day. The region suffered major damage during Hurricane Rita in September 2005.