PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc. evacuated its Houston facilities Thursday in response to an order by authorities as Hurricane Ike edged closer to the area, a company spokeswoman said.
The Peoria, Ill.-based company closed the four facilities at noon and sent employees home, said Rachel Potts, a Caterpillar spokeswoman. The facilities will remain closed Friday, she said.
Potts said she did not know how many employees had been evacuated.
Earlier Thursday, Caterpillar said the storm could affect 16 of the company's Texas facilities, including manufacturing plants, marketing offices and warehouses. The company said it asked workers to prepare by reviewing emergency procedures.
Caterpillar's Houston facilities include an office for its global petroleum business. Other Texas operations include a plant in Waco that makes hydraulic excavator buckets.
Authorities in the Houston area and along the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate Thursday as Ike moved toward the coast and threatened to grow even stronger.
Shares of Caterpillar rose $1.99, or about 3 percent, to close at $64.81.