Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday declared a state of disaster in Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton Counties in the State of Texas. On Friday, May 27th, Governor Abbott elevated the activation level of the State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin and continues to urge all Texans to stay on high alert and immediately heed any warnings from their local officials related to this severe flood threat.
“As our state continues to face waves of severe weather and potential flooding, it is crucial that Texans remain vigilant and heed warnings and any evacuation notices from local officials in their areas,” said Abbott. “The State of Texas stands ready to assist all counties affected by severe weather and has dedicated the resources necessary to ensure the safety of those at risk. I would like to thank the first responders who have rescued residents from rising waters and ask all Texans to keep those affected in their thoughts and prayers.”
The State Operations Center continues to coordinate with the National Weather Service and their West Gulf River Forecast Center to monitor river conditions. The SOC also continues to coordinate with the Texas Emergency Management Council and is providing state resources and assistance to local leaders as requested.
State agencies activated and responding to this event include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Military Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service/Texas Task Force 1, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Park and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Animal Health Commission, and the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and many other Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADS).
Texans are urged to follow these safety tips during severe weather events:
•Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground – turn around, don’t drown.
•Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water.
•Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection.
•Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather, and heed warnings by local officials - when in doubt, get out!
•Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.