Gov. Greg Abbott declares emergency state disaster for 23 Texas coastal counties

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Monday, August 24, 2020
Gov. Abbott issues state disaster declaration for 23 counties
Press play to learn more about the counties involved in the state disaster declaration.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- President Donald Trump approved Gov. Greg Abbott's state of disaster declaration for the state of Texas Monday, ordering federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts as Tropical Storm Laura's threats loom.

The president's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Tropical Storm Laura's projected path shifted on Sunday, placing southeast Texas firmly in the cone of uncertainty. Marco reached category 1 hurricane status, with maximum winds of 75 mph with higher gusts. Marco's projected path sends it toward southeast Louisiana.

Gov. Greg Abbott is urging Texans to closely monitor weather conditions as many prepare for the possibility of damage and flooding.

In a briefing on Sunday afternoon, Abbott declared a state disaster for 23 counties.

The 23 counties in Texas under the disaster declaration include Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Willacy.

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"As [tropical weather] approaches the state, Texans should remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from heavy rainfall and potential flooding," said Abbott. "The state of Texas is closely monitoring weather conditions and is prepared to respond to any further developments."

Texans are urged to follow these flood preparedness and safety tips during severe weather events:

  • Sign up for your community's warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner's policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • 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.

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