Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level as a severe storm system moves across the state this week. The SOC will increase its readiness level from level IV (normal conditions) to level III (increased readiness) beginning at 12 p.m. today. Additionally, Governor Abbott has made state resources available to assist local leaders in the impacted communities.
“The potential dangers and disastrous effects of flooding cannot be overstated, and Texas is taking action to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Governor Abbott. “I continue to urge all Texans to heed all emergency warnings from local officials and stay alert to changing weather and road conditions. I’d also like to offer my thanks to the brave first responders protecting Texans when disasters strike, and I want those in affected communities to know that we stand ready to provide any necessary resources to respond to these threats.”
State and partner agencies engaged in this effort include:
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, ESF-9 (TX-TF 1)
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
- Texas A&M Forest Service
- Texas Military Department
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- American Red Cross
- State Mass Care
Current forecasts indicate heavy rainfall and flash flooding, and a potential for river flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes across the state this week. Rising and moving water can threaten not only drivers on the roadways, but people on foot as well as those outdoors near recreational waterways impacted by significant rainfall.
Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips:
- 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 always observe road barricades placed for your protection. Remember, Turn Around Don’t Drown (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/).
- Dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
- Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
- Stay informed by monitoring weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.
For additional safety tips related to thunderstorms and flooding, see: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm.