HOUSTON, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared 31 counties as disaster areas in the wake of torrential rains that continue to fall across the Lone Star State. More rain is expected over the next few days.
“As our state continues to face waves of severe weather and potential flooding, it is crucial that Texans remain vigilant and heed warnings and any evacuation notices from local officials in their areas,” Governor Abbott in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The State of Texas stands ready to assist all counties affected by severe weather and has dedicated the resources necessary to ensure the safety of those at risk. I would like to thank the first responders who have rescued residents from rising waters and ask all Texans to keep those affected in their thoughts and prayers.”
The Governor issued the proclamation of disaster for Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hood, Hidalgo, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties in the state of Texas.
Forecasters in the Houston area have predicted another eleven inches of rainfall over the next two days. The southern end of the Brazos River has risen to a record high 55 feet, authorities with the National Weather Service reported. The river is not expected to return to its banks for at least two weeks. Officials with Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management stated this is the highest the Brazos River has risen since 1913
So far, six people have died from the recent floods in Texas. ABC News reports that more than three feet of rain has fallen in East Texas over the past 60 Days.
Brenham, located in Washington County, northwest of Houston, experienced about 22 inches of rainfall in one day. Breitbart Texas reported. Sheriff Otto Hanak told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Friday afternoon he has never seen anything like this. “In all of my life I have never seen a harder, more continuous rainfall,” Hanak said. “We received between 18 and 22 inches of rain in a very concentrated area.”
Flood watches are out across the Lone Star State. Those areas include the heavily populated areas of Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, the National Weather Service reports. The storms are expected to continue through the weekend.
“After all the rain we have had recently, the ground is saturated in a lot of places. It is just a muddy bog. If we put 1 to 3 inches of rainfall an hour on top of that, it is only going to aggravate flooding,” Kent Prochazka told Reuters reporter Jim Forsyth. Prochazka is a meteorologist with the NWS Houston-Galveston office.
The governor’s office asks people to follow these tips for safety during the flooding and heavy rains:
- Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground – turn around, don’t drown.
- 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.
- Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather, and heed warnings by local officials – when in doubt, get out!
- Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
Residents are urged to check with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) website for current road conditions before traveling.