Governor Abbott Declares State Of Disaster In Texas Counties
As severe weather including tornadoes, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and flooding continue across areas of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties, authorizing further mobilization of state resources to assist impacted communities. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as the situation develops. The Governor’s declaration follows an elevated activation of the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to enable rapid deployment of state resources announced on Friday, May 4th.
UPDATE: As of Friday, May 15, 2015 Governor Abbott added the following counties his disaster declaration: Cooke, Grimes, Hood, Navarro, Smith and Wise.
“Severe storms continue to impact areas across the State of Texas and I strongly urge everyone to take all possible precautions to ensure their safety. Declaring a state of disaster in these counties will enable Texas to activate state resources to help affected communities as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Governor Abbott. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their lives, their families and all of our affected communities. I want to thank the first responders who are working tirelessly to provide shelter, care and resources to impacted areas.”
Current forecasts indicate the continuation of possible severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, river flooding and tornadoes across the state throughout the week. The SOC – in coordination with the Texas Emergency Management Council – is continuing to monitor weather conditions and coordinate with the National Weather Service.
Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips during this weather event:
- When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.
- 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 observe road barricades placed for your protection.
- Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
- Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.
- Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
- Stay informed and heed warnings by local officials.
For additional safety tips related to tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding, see: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm
The American Red Cross has established the following website for individuals in impacted areas: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
The following resources are involved in the state’s response to this weather event:
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS): Assisting with reconnaissance, search and rescue efforts, and providing personnel and resources as needed.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD): Conducting search and rescue missions during flash flooding/water incidents in affected areas.
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS): DSHS have mobilized two AMBUSes, a Medical Incident Support Team and an Ambulance Strike Team to provide medical assistance as needed.
Texas Military Forces (TMF): TMF has deployed aircraft and high-profile vehicles, and continues providing assistance with search and rescue missions as needed.
Texas Task Force 1 (TTF1): Air and boat rescue squads have been deployed for search and rescue missions as needed.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ): Continues to monitor dams and river levels in the affected areas.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT): Crews have deployed resources to address flooding conditions and debris cleanup impacting roadways.
Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC): Personnel continue to work with utility companies to resolve power/utility issues.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD): Organizations continue to provide shelter and other mass care needs as requested.
Additional partners and resources include: Texas A&M Forest Service; Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Civil Air Patrol; Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; Texas General Land Office; Texas Health and Human Services Commission; Texas Department of Insurance; Railroad Commission of Texas; Texas Education Agency; Department of Aging and Disability Services; Department of Family and Protective Services; Texas Workforce Commission; Texas Animal Health Commission; Texas 2-1-1; and Texas Department of Information Resources.