The state has placed resources on standby across the state in anticipation of severe weather from an approaching disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Depression 8 is currently spinning about 415 miles from Port O’Connor, Texas. Forecasters predict it could strengthen into Tropical Storm Hanna before making landfall along the Texas coast. The lower third of Texas, including the upper Rio Grande Valley — already hit hard by the COVID-19 storm — the Coastal Bend, and the Texas Hill Country could all be impacted throughout the weekend.
Eric Berger with Space City Weather predicts a Stage 2 flood event for coastal counties and a Stage 1 event for inland areas.
“In short, for most, this probably will be a wet weekend, but not a wholly disruptive one,” Berger wrote. “But as always with tropical weather, we’re going to watch this one closely.”
“I urge Texans across the state to monitor the weather in their area and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones from possible flash flooding and heavy rainfall,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “As this tropical disturbance approaches Texas, we are taking several precautionary steps to prepare resources for our communities, and we will continue to monitor and proactively respond to any developments.”
The Texas Division of Emergency Management has rostered the following resources in preparation to support requests from local officials:
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Saw Crews and Incident Management Teams
- Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service: Texas A&M Task Force One and Two Search and Rescue Teams
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Boat Teams to support Water Rescue Operations
- Texas Military Department: High Profile Vehicle packages
- Department of State Health Services: Emergency Medical Task Force severe weather packages
- Texas Department of Transportation: High Profile Vehicles
- Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol: Search and Rescue Aircraft with hoist capability and the Tactical Marine Unit
Texans are urged to follow these flood preparedness and safety tips during severe weather events:
- Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information here: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Build an emergency supply kit. For more information on how to build a kit, visit: https://www.ready.gov/kit
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
- 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. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.
For more flood safety tips, visit ready.gov.