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Governor Abbott Expands Northeast Texas Disaster Declaration

June 21, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today updated the state’s disaster declaration to include additional Northeast Texas communities affected by recent severe storms causing widespread electricity infrastructure damage. The counties added to the Governor’s declaration are Morris and Shelby counties.

"Following more information gathered from communities affected by last week's severe weather in Northeast Texas, I added Morris and Shelby counties to our state's disaster declaration," said Governor Abbott. "Expanding this disaster declaration will help us streamline recovery efforts and restore power quickly and efficiently. The State of Texas continues to collaborate with state and local partners to deploy any additional resources needed to help Texans recover. I thank all of our emergency response personnel and electrical linemen who are working to help their fellow Texans in the aftermath of these storms."

At the Governor’s direction, the following additional state resources have been deployed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to support local response and recovery operations:

  • Texas Division of Emergency Management: Personnel and equipment to support food storage and hot meal distribution
  • Texas Department of Transportation: 60 additional personnel to support roadway debris removal
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Public Works Response Team): Personnel and heavy equipment to support water and electricity infrastructure repair efforts
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol providing security at points of distribution and Driver License Disaster Recovery Unit providing driver licenses at the Community Resource Center in Perryton
  • Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service: County Extension Agents supporting disaster needs assessments
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Field personnel assisting with livestock hydration
  • Texas National Guard: Over 170 personnel supporting resource staging areas and points of distribution to assist local communities

The following state resources remain deployed to support storm response and recovery operations in the northern portion of the state:

  • Texas Department of Transportation: Personnel and heavy equipment for roadway debris clearing and traffic control
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Public Works Response Team): Personnel and equipment to support utility and wastewater treatment needs and operate the state resource staging area
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Additional Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System Strike Teams, tactical water tenders, additional Incident Management Teams to support local firefighting capability and points of distribution, and Saw Crews
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management: Emergency management personnel to support local emergency operations centers and to coordinate the establishment of Points of Distribution (PODs) across the impacted counties for members of the community to pick up water, ice, and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs); Response and Recovery personnel to conduct damage assessments and coordinate requests for assistance; activated state disaster contracts for emergency resource transportation and fuel for generators; coordination of cellular connectivity for first responder communications; State Mass Care Coordination; base camp operations to house responding crews; and a resource staging area to support impacted jurisdictions
  • Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Mobile Medical Unit to support local hospital operations, Medical Incident Support Teams, ambulance buses, and ambulances supporting local hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency medical services
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission: Utilizing contracts for local ice and water needs
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Game Wardens assisting with supply delivery and security in affected areas
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Personnel and equipment to assist with air/water/wastewater monitoring
  • Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service: Disaster Assessment and Recovery Agents to assist with damage assessments
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas: Working with utility providers to send additional crews to impacted areas to repair damaged electric infrastructure
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol Troopers
  • Texas National Guard: Personnel and high-profile vehicles for movement of emergency supplies and to support points of distribution
  • Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team: Providing support to local veterinary services in impacted communities

This is the latest action in the state’s response to recent severe weather impacting Texas communities:

  • On Monday, Governor Abbott updated his disaster declaration to include additional communities impacted by the severe storms.
  • On Sunday, the Governor provided an update on the state’s ongoing response to severe storms and urged the public to remain weather aware during continued severe weather potential and extreme heat.
  • Governor Abbott held a briefing and press conference on Saturday in Perryton to provide an update on the state's response efforts and updated his disaster declaration to include additional Northeast Texas communities affected by the severe storms.
  • On Friday, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration and directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the Texas State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response) to support requests for assistance from local officials.
  • Last week, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to deploy state emergency response resources to address urgent life-safety needs in Perryton following severe storms and tornado impacts.

As prolonged extreme heat continues in Texas, over 200 cooling centers have been established across the state by local officials. TDEM has compiled a list of these cooling centers at tdem.texas.gov/cool

Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services urges Texans to take precautions to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  • Take action at the first sign of heat illness
  • Never leave anyone, including pets, in a parked vehicle—even for a short time
  • Check frequently on older friends, neighbors, and family members
  • Drink plenty of water

Read the Governor’s updated disaster declaration.