Governor Abbott Adds Counties To Disaster Declaration, Waives Permits To Accelerate Recovery, Urges Vigilance In Responding To Hurricane Nicholas
During a briefing at the State Operation Center today, Governor Greg Abbott updated the action that Texas is taking to help communities respond to Hurricane Nicholas. To accelerate the response, the Governor temporarily waived the limit on commercial drivers’ hours of service and the oversize and overweight permitting requirements.
Governor Abbott also added Liberty and Wharton counties to the disaster declaration issued yesterday.
State Agency leaders updated the Governor about the resources deployed to assist with the recovery efforts. Of significance, the following actions have been taken to aid affected communities in Texas:
- The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) is making damage assessments in coordination with local officials to provide assistance with damage cost and debris assessments.
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) directed transmission companies to delay maintenance outages and directed industry entities to activate emergency plans.
- The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), local officials, and electric companies are coordinating on power restoration. Currently, power has been restored in over 297,000 customers out of 530,000 reported outages.
- The National Guard is assisting with traffic control operations in areas that have not yet had power/traffic signals restored.
- Texas A&M Task Force One has deployed a total of 9 Swiftwater Boat Squads. They have rescued 5 people and a dog.
- The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports only one road closure and continues to monitor road conditions, and clearing debris from roadways in impacted areas.
- The American Red Cross and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster have two open shelters across the impact area. As of Tuesday afternoon, all five shelters had a population of zero.
Governor Abbott urges Texans to remain vigilant about the lingering Tropical Storm and the dangers of flooding. “We are not yet in the clear,” he said.
The Governor is also urging Texans who have been affected by Hurricane Nicholas to complete the Self Reporting Damage Survey to help the state identify damages to private homes and businesses and to assist emergency management officials assess the damages that occurred. This data will determine if the state of Texas and our communities meet federal thresholds for disaster assistance. The voluntary survey, available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting damage.tdem.texas.gov. Reporting damage to TDEM is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.
"The State of Texas is working alongside local officials to ensure that our communities have the resources and support they need to recover from the impact of Hurricane Nicholas," said Governor Abbott. "I am also urging Texans who experienced damages to complete the Self Reporting Damage Survey so the state can identify impacts and better serve our communities."
Nicholas made landfall in Texas overnight as a hurricane but has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues to travel through the state.
For more safety tips and recovery resources, visit gov.texas.gov/hurricane.
Texans can also visit www.TexasFlood.org for resources and tips on how to stay safe during flood events.