Governor Abbott Readies State Operations Center For Winter Weather
Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness level of the State Operations Center (SOC) to Level II (Escalated Response) as winter weather begins impacting large portions of Texas today through Thursday.
“The State of Texas is working tirelessly to ensure Texans and their communities have the resources, assistance, and support needed to respond to winter weather impacts across the state,” said Governor Abbott. "As we mobilize the resources Texans need to stay safe, I encourage everyone to remain weather-aware, check DriveTexas.org before traveling, and heed the guidance from local officials. I want to thank all the first responders and emergency management personnel helping Texas communities prepare and stay safe during this severe weather."
The National Weather Service forecasts wintry mix—primarily freezing rain—until Thursday in West, Central, and North Texas, with sub-freezing temperatures expected throughout the week. Heavy rainfall and flash flood potential is in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday in Central, East, and Southeast Texas.
The following state agencies have been requested by TDEM to report to the SOC:
- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
- Texas A&M Forest Service
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
- Texas Animal Health Commission
- Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
- Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)
- Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Texas National Guard
- Texas Education Agency
- Texas Department of Information Resources
At the Governor's direction, the following state emergency response resources have been mobilized:
- TxDOT: Winter weather roadway equipment and crews pre-treating and treating roadways, including roadway condition monitoring
- TDEM: State Mass Care Coordination personnel working with local partners to update warming center maps; Communications Coordination Group is engaging with telecommunications partners
- Texas National Guard: Four-wheel drive vehicles and personnel responding to support stranded motorists
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Motor graders and personnel to assist with snow/ice clearance and saw crews to assist with removal of downed trees
- PUC: Power outage monitoring and coordination with utility providers
- RRC: Monitoring of the state’s natural gas supply and communication with the oil and gas industry
- TCEQ: Personnel to monitor drinking water, wastewater, and air quality
- DPS: Personnel patrolling roadways
- DSHS: Texas Emergency Medical Task Force severe weather packages
Texans can check road conditions at DriveTexas.org and locate cold weather resources by visiting tdem.texas.gov/disasters/january-2023-winter-storm.
For warming center information, visit tdem.texas.gov/warm.
Following the Governor's directive, TDEM continues coordinating recovery operations in Southeast Texas in response to tornado damage sustained last week. Today, Governor Abbott updated his disaster declaration to include Jefferson and Liberty Counties, following confirmation of damage in those counties from severe storms.