Gov. Greg Abbott issues disaster declaration for 17 counties as Nicholas moves in to southeast Texas

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference in San Antonio. Gov. Abbott, in defending Texas' near-ban on abortions, says women and girls who are raped won't be forced to give birth because the new law "provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion." But that's not how pregnancy works. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference in San Antonio. Gov. Abbott, in defending Texas' near-ban on abortions, says women and girls who are raped won't be forced to give birth because the new law "provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion." But that's not how pregnancy works. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference to discuss the state’s preparation ahead of Hurricane Nicholas’ landfall along the Texas coast.

The governor issued a state disaster declaration in response to Hurricane Nicholas for 17 counties. The counties included in the state disaster declaration are Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, and Victoria. The state will add additional counties as needs are identified.

“Texans throughout the Gulf Coast should prepare now for the impact of Tropical Storm Nicholas, which is expected to bring severe rain and flooding to these communities,” said Abbott. “The State of Texas is working closely with officials on the ground to provide the resources and support needed to keep our communities safe, but it is up to all Texans in the path of this storm to take precautions, heed the guidance of officials, and remain vigilant as this severe weather moves through Texas.”

On Sunday, the Governor ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to increase its readiness to Level II (Escalated Response) beginning at 9:00 a.m. On Saturday, Governor Abbott readied resources to assist local communities impacted by this storm. The following resources are activated:

  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Task Force One): 6 Swift Water Rescue Boat Squads and 8 Overhead Packages.
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Game Warden Boat Teams.
  • Texas Military Department: 5 Ground Transportation Platoons With High Profile Vehicles.
  • Texas Department of State Health Services: Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Severe Weather Packages.

The following actions and resources have been rostered for potential activation if needed:

  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Saw Crews and Incident Management Teams.
  • Texas Department of Transportation: Monitoring Road Conditions And Prepositioned Water-Filled Barriers.
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol Search And Rescue Aircraft and The Tactical Marine Unit.
  • Public Utility Commission: Power Outage Monitoring And Coordination With Utility Providers.

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

  • Know the types of flood risks in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information here: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
  • 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.
  • Build an emergency supply kit. For more information on how to build a kit, visit: https://www.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.

Watch Abbott’s full video below:

Keep up with the latest storm updates here.


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