As flooding continues to impact parts of East and Southeast Texas, Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in the following counties: Angelina, Erath, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler. The Governor also elevated the activation level of the State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin, and is urging Texans to stay on high alert and immediately heed any warnings from their local officials related to this severe flood threat.
“Flooding resulting from historic rainfall in East Texas is having a significant impact on residents,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas continues to do everything it can to assist all the counties affected by this severe weather, and my thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted. I want to thank the first responders for their quick response to this disaster and ask that residents heed the warnings of local officials, particularly concerning evacuation notices.”
To read Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration, click here.
The State Operations Center continues to coordinate with the National Weather Service and their West Gulf River Forecast Center to monitor river conditions – which has indicated that the significant threat at this time is near the Sabine, Trinity and Neches rivers and their tributaries. The SOC also continues to coordinate with the Texas Emergency Management Council and is providing state resources and assistance to local leaders as requested. At the request of local leaders, the state is currently assisting with evacuations in Newton, Jasper and Orange counties. Additionally, the state continues to provide assistance for swift water rescues in the impacted areas as requested by local officials.
State agencies activated and responding to this event include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Military Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service/Texas Task Force 1, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Park and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Animal Health Commission, and the American Red Cross.
Texans are urged to follow these safety tips during severe weather events:
- 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.
Disaster proclamation For Severe Storms And Flooding in March 2016TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of Texas, do hereby certify that the severe weather and flooding event that began on March 7, 2016, has caused a disaster in Angelina, Erath, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler counties in the state of Texas. Those same conditions continue to exist in these and other counties in Texas.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby declare a state of disaster in Angelina, Erath, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler counties in the state of Texas.
Pursuant to Section 418.017 of the code, I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with this disaster.
Pursuant to Section 418.016 of the code, any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or any order or rule of a state agency that would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster shall be suspended upon written approval of the Office of the Governor. However, to the extent that the enforcement of any state statute or administrative rule regarding contracting or procurement would impede any state agency’s emergency response that is necessary to protect life or property threatened by this declared disaster, I hereby authorize the suspension of such statutes and rules for the duration of this declared disaster.
In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.
View a PDF of the Proclamation click here
LDOTD preparing closure of I-10 at Sabine River
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said it is closing Interstate 10 at the Sabine River near the Texas state line due to flooding.The closure is estimated to begin about 10 a.m. It initially slated the closure to begin between 6:30 a.m. - 8 a.m.
DOTD said it will continue to monitor weather conditions and will advise of any changes.
Travelers going through Louisiana should stay on I-20.
Although it is not advisable to travel during inclement weather, the DOTD suggested detour routes for I-10 traffic are as follows:
• I-10 to I-49 to I-20 (into Texas) to I-10
• I-20 (into Louisiana) to I-49 to I-10
As of right now it's a 4 hour drive for me to go 24 miles home since they rerouted I-10 E/W traffic. And don't think we are getting off work early to deal with it either... All alternate routes home that I've checked are closed as well and open only to residents who live on those roads.