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Governor Abbott Continues To Direct State Response For Severe Storms Impacting Texas Over Last Month

June 23, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today updated the state’s disaster declaration to include additional Texas communities impacted by damage to homes and businesses caused by severe weather. This disaster declaration will continue to support response and recovery efforts by local and state officials in 23 Texas counties, including two added today: Montgomery and Leon counties. 

"From the Panhandle to the Pineywoods, Texans across the state have withstood severe weather impacts over the last month and continue to show true Texas grit in recovering and rebuilding their communities," said Governor Abbott. "We continue to include additional counties to the state's disaster declaration, like I did today, to help ensure Texas' response supports all impacted Texans and communities. As we request damage assessments to determine the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance, we remain in close collaboration with state and local partners to deploy any additional resources needed to help Texans recover."

Additional counties may be added to the declaration as damage assessments are completed.

In response to a severe weather pattern that began in late May and has brought heavy rainfall, flash flooding, damaging wind, large hail, and tornadoes to communities across the state, the Texas State Operations Center remains at Level II (Escalated Response) at the Governor’s direction to support requests for assistance from local officials.

Flooding began to impact counties in the Texas Panhandle, High Plains, and South Plains on May 27, causing widespread damage throughout the region. Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration to address the impacts of flood damage to homes, businesses, and the agriculture industry. The Governor also directed TDEM to deploy the following state emergency response resources to support flood response operations:

  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Task Force 1): 2 Swiftwater Boat Squads
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: 2 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System Strike Teams comprised of High Profile Vehicles and 2 Boat Teams
  • Texas Department of Transportation: Personnel to assist with traffic control and road closures
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Wardens and Boat Squads
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Helicopters with hoist capability
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Public Works Response Team): Personnel to support flood pump operations
  • Texas National Guard: 2 Ground Transportation Platoons with High Profile Vehicles
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Air/water/wastewater monitoring
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Personnel to provide livestock support

This weather pattern continued to impact the state, as severe thunderstorms brought large hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes to multiple Texas communities over the past few weeks. Governor Abbott directed TDEM to deploy state emergency response assets to the town of Perryton immediately following a devastating tornado in Northwest Texas. Additionally, the Governor issued a state disaster declaration for communities in Northwest and Northeast Texas impacted by damaging winds and severe storms that caused significant damage to electricity infrastructure. On Saturday, following severe storms and tornadoes in Ochiltree and Cass counties, Governor Abbott held a briefing with state and local officials in Perryton where he provided an update on the state’s ongoing response and recovery efforts.

On Sunday, the Governor provided an update on the state’s ongoing response to severe storms. Governor Abbott updated the state’s disaster declaration on Monday to add East Texas communities that suffered severe weather impacts and significant damage to electric infrastructure across the region, as local electric providers worked around the clock to restore power. Additional assets were deployed on Wednesday, and additional counties were added to the disaster declaration as impacts of the severe weather continued. Following severe storms and tornadoes causing damage to Matador and counties in the South Plains and Big Country regions, the Governor directed TDEM to mobilize additional response and recovery resources, and he added six Texas counties to the disaster declaration yesterday.

The following state resources remain engaged to support severe weather response and recovery operations across the state:

  • Texas Department of Transportation: Personnel and heavy equipment for roadway debris clearing, traffic control, and sign and signal repairs
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Public Works Response Team): Personnel and equipment to support utility, water, and wastewater treatment needs, support electricity infrastructure repair efforts, and operate the state resource staging area in Perryton
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System Strike Teams, tactical water tenders, 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, food storage and hot meal distribution, 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); Operations Technology personnel to support resource needs; 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 A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Task Force 2): Search and Rescue Teams
  • 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 and County Extension Agents supporting disaster needs 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 providing security at points of distribution and Driver License Disaster Recovery Unit providing driver licenses at the Community Resource Center in Perryton
  • Texas National Guard: Personnel and high-profile vehicles for movement of emergency supplies and to support points of distribution and resource staging areas
  • Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team: Providing support to local veterinary services in impacted communities
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Field personnel assisting with livestock hydration

This week, the Governor directed TDEM to request joint disaster damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance for Texans whose properties were affected by flooding and severe weather. These damage assessments are in process and state personnel are working alongside federal and local response and recovery personnel to quickly determine whether these damages meet the federal threshold requirements for various forms of federal disaster assistance for impacted individuals and communities. Impacted Texans are encouraged to report storm damage using TDEM’s Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) self-reporting damage survey to assist emergency management officials identify resource needs and determine the state’s eligibility for various forms of federal disaster assistance. The survey is available in English and Spanish online at damage.tdem.texas.gov.

Additionally, with another round of severe storms in the forecast for the northern part of the state today, Texans are encouraged to remain weather aware and monitor local weather reports.

Extreme heat remains an ongoing threat, and Texans are urged to implement measures to stay safe in triple-digit temperatures. A list of cooling centers opened by local officials is available at tdem.texas.gov/cool.

Read the Governor's updated disaster declaration.