Texas Governor Activates State Operations Center in Advance of Severe Weather

NWS Southern Plains Mosiac 10-23-2015
Photo: National Weather Service

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Friday, an elevated activation of the Texas State Operations Center in advance of severe weather anticipated in advance of Hurricane Patricia’s march through the southwest. The storms are expected to bring flooding conditions to many parts of the Lone Star State.

“Today’s elevated activation of the State Operations Center (SOC) will better equip first responders and local officials with the resources needed to combat inclement weather expected over the weekend,” Governor Abbott in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The State of Texas stands ready to provide support to communities as needed, and I urge all Texans to closely monitor changing weather conditions in their area and heed warnings from local and state officials.”

The activation allows the state’s emergency resources to be put into standby mode and deployed in key locations where needs are being anticipated.

“Strong storms and heavy rains can quickly create dangerous flash flooding, so DPS is urging Texans to closely monitor severe weather conditions through the weekend,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in the Governor’s press release. “Ensuring the safety of Texans is paramount to our department, and it is critical that residents also do their part by using extra caution on roadways, and avoiding flooded areas and low-water crossings.”

Nearly six inches of rain fell today in the central Texas community of Waco. That rainfall total breaks the October single-day record set in 2011, according to a report by the Waco Tribune.

National radar maps show heavy rain in Texas stretching northeastward along a line from just north of Ozona in west Texas to Texarkana. Flash flood warnings and watches are in effect in several locations along the storm’s pathway.

The SOC will coordinate several state agencies including: Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service/Texas Task Force 1, and Texas Military Forces which includes the Texas National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard and the Texas State Guard.

The following resources have been made available to assist Texas in emergency need:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS):Texas Highway Patrol personnel and aircraft are activated and will provided assistance as needed, including rescue efforts.
  • 2-1-1:Personnel will be monitoring school late openings, closures, and providing information to callers as needed.
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD):Game Wardens in all regions of the state are on alert for the possibility of flash flooding/water rescue events and deployment.
  • Texas Military Forces (TMF):TMF is providing aircraft, high-profile vehicles, and personnel to support flooding-assistance efforts in impacted areas.
  • Texas Task Force 1 (TTF1):Activated and ready with boat rescue squads for rapid deployment.
  • Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):TxDOT crews are prepared to respond to flooding conditions with barricades, water pumps and heavy equipment.

In May, Breitbart Texas reported that Governor Abbott took similar precautions in activating the SOC in advance of severe weather. The move enabled the Texas National Guard to respond quickly to assist people in north Texas who were stranded by rapidly rising waters. In one case, a pregnant woman and a baby were airlifted to safety.

The Office of the Governor recommends Texans visit The DPS Severe Weather Awareness site for safety tips related to severe weather.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX


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