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Governor adds southeast Texas counties to disaster declaration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added Jefferson, Hardin, Orange and a number of other Southeast Texas counties to his disaster declaration related to severe weather and flooding.

“As flooding and severe weather conditions continue in several regions of Texas, I have expanded the disaster declaration to 59 counties to ensure Texans and their communities receive the help and support they need to stay safe,” said Governor Abbott . “It is important for Texans in vulnerable areas to be aware of the weather, follow guidance from state and local officials and avoid traveling during dangerous flooding. The State of Texas continues to work with emergency management and local officials to deploy. “Additional resources are needed to continually support and protect our fellow Texans.”

Counties added to the disaster declaration include: Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Brazos, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Cherokee, Colorado, Comal, Coryell, DeWitt, Falls, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Gregg, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Hays, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Llano, Mason, Medina, Milam, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Travis, Van Zandt, Waller, Washington, Williamson and Wilson.

From the Texas Governor's Office

Governor Greg Abbott today expanded the state's disaster declaration to 59 counties in areas at risk for severe weather and flooding, with the updated disaster declaration covering a total of 88 counties. Additional counties may be added depending on the circumstances.

“As flooding and severe weather conditions continue in several regions of Texas, I have expanded the disaster declaration to 59 counties to ensure Texans and their communities receive the help and support they need to stay safe,” said Governor Abbott . “It is important for Texans in vulnerable areas to be aware of the weather, follow guidance from state and local officials and avoid traveling during dangerous flooding. The State of Texas continues to work with emergency management and local officials to deploy. “Additional resources are needed to continually support and protect our fellow Texans.”

Counties added to the disaster declaration include: Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Brazos, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Cherokee, Colorado, Comal, Coryell, DeWitt, Falls, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Gregg, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Hays, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Llano, Mason, Medina, Milam, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Travis, Van Zandt, Waller, Washington, Williamson and Wilson.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), areas of northern, western, central and eastern Texas are at increased risk for severe thunderstorms that will bring excessive rainfall and lead to flash flooding. NWS forecasts extreme river flooding for Central and East Texas river basins. River impacts in major river basins are expected to continue into next week, meaning the risk of river flooding remains until then. Historic releases by lake and reservoir operators will result in severe flooding in downstream rivers and tributaries. Texans below these reservoirs and along river systems affected by water releases are urged to heed warnings from local emergency management officials. Severe weather threats also include large hail, damaging winds and possible tornadoes.

Overnight, state responders assisted in several flood rescues in Central and Southeast Texas. In addition, state transportation and law enforcement agencies have assisted with road closures and sandbagging. Affected school districts report changed schedules due to weather impacts.

The Texas State Emergency Operations Center continues to operate at Level II (Escalated Response) and has 24-hour Emergency Management Council operations to support requests from local officials for federal assistance in areas affected by storms and flooding.

Texans are encouraged to monitor local forecasts, create an emergency plan and follow the instructions of emergency responders. Never drive or walk through flooded streets or around barricaded streets. Remember: turn around, don't drown.

Texans can access flood information at TexasFlood.org, find flood preparedness tips at TexasReady.gov, check road conditions at DriveTexas.org and find severe weather information at tdem.texas.gov.

Governor Abbott continues to take action to deploy all available resources to protect local communities from the impacts of the severe weather, including:

Deploying state emergency resources for wildfires and severe weather events over the past week

A disaster declaration was issued yesterday for counties affected by recent storms and additional state emergency resources were deployed in anticipation of severe weather and flooding this week

Increasing the preparedness level of the State Emergency Operations Center to assist with requests for state assistance from local officials

Anna Harden

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