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Governor Abbott Increases Readiness of State Operations Center as Severe Weather Impacts Texas

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its emergency response status to Level III as severe storms and potential flooding is forecasted to impact parts of Texas through Memorial Day weekend. As a result of this directive, representatives from various state agencies have reported to the SOC and will continue coordinating the state’s response to this weather event. Texans are also encouraged to prepare for severe weather in their area.

“Especially as Texans may be travelling to unfamiliar areas or spending time outside during the Memorial Day weekend, we strongly urge everyone to monitor the ongoing severe weather in their areas as storm systems quickly develop,” said Governor Abbott. “Be aware that conditions may change rapidly, so it is imperative for Texans to heed all warnings from state and local officials.

When you encounter rising waters or flooded roadways, keep one simple phrase in mind: turn around, don’t drown.”

State resources were deployed Thursday to areas threatened by severe weather, including swift water rescue teams and personnel working to close impassable roads. Those efforts continue today, and additional state resources are available for rapid deployment as needed to assist local officials during this significant weather event.

Current forecasts indicate the possibility of flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, dangerous river flooding, strong winds and hail. This current weather pattern may be unstable and unpredictable, so closely monitoring weather conditions is critical. In preparation for these storms, the SOC – in coordination with the Texas Emergency Management Council – will continue to monitor weather conditions and coordinate with the National Weather Service.

Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips during this weather event:

  • When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.
  • If you are outdoors, seek shelter in a home, large building or automobile. Do not take shelter in sheds, pavilions, tents, dugouts, or other small, open sided buildings.
  • 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.
  • Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
  • Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather.
  • Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.