AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin where he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura. This hurricane is expected to bring heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, and storm surge. He announced that he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind, and flooding.
During the press conference, Governor Abbott announced that reception centers in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin are open. The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating. There are also over 225,000 hotel rooms available across the state to provide shelter to evacuees. A full list of mandatory and voluntary evacuations can be found on the Texas Hurricane Center web page. Governor Abbott urged Texans to take action now to protect themselves and their property.
“Hurricane Laura is rapidly intensifying and poses a major threat to communities in Southeast Texas and along the coast,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans in the path of this storm should waste no time preparing for the impact of Hurricane Laura and take immediate action to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I urge our Southeast and coastal communities to heed the guidance of local officials, follow evacuation orders, and remain vigilant as we brace for the impact of Hurricane Laura. The State of Texas will continue to monitor this storm and provide the resources needed to keep Texans safe.”
Hurricane Laura is expected to gain strength to a Category 3 or 4 hurricane as it makes landfall over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or early Thursday. These areas are expected to experience tropical storm force winds, heavy rain, significant storm surge, possible flash flooding, and rising water levels. Heavy rainfall begins over Southeast Texas on Wednesday will shift into Northeast Texas on Thursday. The primary water threat will be from storm surge. Texans are urged to remain vigilant and aware as Hurricane Laura continues to head towards Texas.
HARRIS COUNTY – Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia stated to the Highlands, Crosby, Galena Park, North Forest and Channelview vicinity residents:
“I hope you are staying safe and preparing for the upcoming storms. As of this morning, the National Hurricane Center reported Laura has become a hurricane. It is imperative that you and your family are prepared for potential impact. If you haven’t, please start doing it NOW. Forecasters are predicting heavy rain, high ties and strong winds in our area. Experts are asking residents be prepared for power outages starting Wednesday evening.
Last week we announced suspending our senior meal delivery program for today (8/25) and tomorrow. In response to this, I asked my staff to send two meals yesterday and a box of shelf stable food to support our seniors through the rest of this week. Due to the current forecast and for the safety of my staff, I’m extending the suspension of the meals until the end of this week.
My team is assisting with transportation/evacuation of constituents identified by the State of Texas Emergency Accessibility Registry to San Antonio.
Our Road and Bridge crews are on standby and ready to respond in the event of down trees, flooding and potential high water rescues.
We are also in discussions with the American Red Cross to set up shelters at our community centers, if needed.
Review your Hurricane plan with your family. Ensure your kit has everything you need, make sure you have all your prescriptions filled, keep a list of all your prescriptions with names and dosage amounts, put all your important documents in a waterproof container. fill up your gas tank, have food that won+ft spoil due to power outages, have your Covid-19 supplies such as masks, and hand sanitizers ready, remove, store or tie down any items from the outdoors that may shift due to high winds, including; BBQ pits, toys, trampolines, furniture, hanging plants, hoses, flowerpots, garden decor, make sure you have flashlights, batteries and matches. If you have a generator, have it ready for potential power outages. Check your evacuation zones. Please take time to prepare and do not forget to check on the elderly. If you would like to report down trees, flooding or if you have any questions that we can help answer please call our Harris County Precinct 2 call center at 713-274-2222.
Stay safe, your Commissioner, Adrian Garcia
On the night of Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey roared into Texas as a Category 4 hurricane leaving a path of devastation in its wake. Three years later, work to repair Harvey’s damage remains, but with great determination and perseverance, Texas communities have made strong progress in their recovery.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Harvey is the second-costliest U.S. natural disaster only Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 caused more damage. Although the damage estimates are high, federal, state and local funds along with non-profit assistance, volunteer hours and donations have helped Texans continue their recovery.
Texans to date have been provided with $14.5 billion in federal funds including grants, loans and flood insurance payments to assist in repair and replacement of their homes and their belongings. FEMA Public Assistance has awarded, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management has disbursed, more than $2.1 billion in grants for debris removal, measures taken to prepare for Harvey and permanent repair or replacement of public infrastructure. And, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has funded $246 million for projects to limit damages caused by future disasters.
Three years after Harvey, Texans find themselves in the midst of another hurricane season. This should serve as a great reminder to buy or renew a policy with the National Flood Insurance Program. After the storm, about 92,000 Texans received flood insurance payouts for an estimated $9 billion. Many Texans without flood insurance, however, had to rebuild their lives with personal savings and whatever federal assistance they were eligible to receive.
There is not a better time to plan for the unexpected than now. For more information on preparing for a disaster, visit ready.gov.