Governor Greg Abbott Declares State Of Disaster As Tropical System Impacts Texas
Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in several counties that are currently experiencing widespread flooding due to Tropical Storm Imelda. This declaration will ensure that local officials have access to any state resources they may require to respond to this severe weather. On Monday, Governor Abbott deployed numerous resources to the Gulf Coast in preparation for this weather event.
“The State of Texas is working closely with local officials and emergency personnel to provide the resources they need to keep Texans safe from Tropical Storm Imelda,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank our first responders who are acting swiftly to help the communities that are facing this severe weather event. I urge all those in the path of this storm to take the necessary precautions and heed all warnings from local officials.”
A disaster declaration has been declared in the following counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange and San Jacinto.
Fox News reports that severe flash flooding hit parts of east Texas on Thursday as the center of Tropical Depression Imelda hit close to Houston, just over two years since the community was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Up to 5 inches of rain per hour could fall in Harris County, where Houston is located, throughout the day Thursday, forecasters said. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency warning for several counties, saying “life-threatening amounts of rainfall” have already dropped. County officials reported a combination of at least 1,000 high-water rescues and evacuations to get people to shelter, in anticipation of the threat lingering.
The city of Hamshire saw more than 40 inches of rain — 25 of which fell within a 12-hour span, and meteorologists with AccuWeather are predicting a total of 55 inches of rain.
Mayor at @HoustonOEM: Encouraging people at work and people at home to stay where you are for a few hours until rain system clears. “Stay put!” Rescue personnel and equipment are ready if needed. #Imelda
— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) September 19, 2019
In Chambers County, at least 200 people have had to be rescued in the town of Winnie, located roughly 60 miles east of Houston, according to Sheriff Brian Hawthorne. In addition to a flash flood warning, the NWS has also issued a tornado warning for the county.
— Melissa Correa (@KHOUmelissa) September 19, 2019
— Ben Parsons (@BenParsons7) September 19, 2019
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston is open, but surrounding streets are flooded, airport officials tweeted. Flights are experiencing delays up to roughly 4 hours.
No deaths or injuries were reported in connection with Imelda as of Thursday. Earlier in the week, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression after making landfall as a tropical storm Tuesday near Freeport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.
Watch the report from FOX:
Stay safe out there Patriots!
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