AUSTIN — Officials with the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday that Abbott held a statewide weather call with more than 350 local emergency response officials. Officials included; mayors, county judges, first responders, and private sector partners, from all regions across Texas.
According to a news release from Abbott’s office, Abbott also received a briefing from members of the Texas Emergency Management Council on the latest state agency actions at the Texas State Emergency Operations Center (SOC).
“I urge Texans to remain alert about changing weather conditions, take the active weather threats seriously, and heed the guidance of local officials as storms bringing rain and flood concerns push through our state,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas is using all means necessary to support local community efforts to protect life and property, and it’s essential that communities across the state take proactive measures to keep all Texans safe.”
Officials said additionally Abbott spoke with local officials and first responders to discuss any needs their communities might have and reiterates actions the state has taken to support any local response that is necessary. Abbott spoke directly with Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino, and Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson.
During the call, Governor Abbott ensured he’s doing everything possible to help local communities. He also reiterated the importance of monitoring the unexpected swift flowing rivers that may put lives at risk.
On Friday, Governor Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to mobilize state resources to assist Texas communities that are expected to receive heavy rain and flooding through the coming week.
According to Abbott, the National Weather Service is forecasting a threat of heavy rainfall and flash flooding in parts of West Texas, South Texas, and the Panhandle into the start of the week. The increased risk of excessive rainfall and flash flooding extends to the northern half of the state this coming week. Severe storms are possible in some areas, with the potential for damaging winds and large hail.
TDEM has coordinated the pre-positioning of more than 250 personnel and more than 100 pieces of response equipment. The following state assets have been staged across the state for activation as warranted:
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX): 6 Texas A&M Task Force 1 (TXTF 1) Swiftwater boat squads.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD): 2 Search & Rescue Boat Teams.
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS): Tactical Marine Unit; 3 Helicopters with hoist capabilities.
- Texas National Guard: 3 Helicopters and 3 Ground Transportation Companies totaling more than 60 vehicles and more than 150 personnel.
- Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (TX-EMTF): 2 Severe Weather Packages including ambulances, ambulance buses, and emergency medical service personnel.
Officials said West Texas is hosting sandbag points of distribution by local officials this weekend in El Paso County El Paso 1331 N. Fabens Street, 191 Canutillo Avenue, and 14698 Van Lane all day.
Texans are urged to follow these flood preparedness and safety tips during severe weather events:
- Know the types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide emergency alerts.
- Build an emergency supply kit. For more information on how to build a kit, visit: ready.gov/kit.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
- 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. Remember, Turn Around Don’t Drown.
For more information on the weather briefing and Flash Flood tips visit, ready.gov.