Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday urged city leaders and residents to prepare for potential severe weather this weekend.
A storm system in the Gulf of Mexico could potentially make landfall as a tropical storm or even a hurricane. Abbott said the storm could drop about 10 inches of rain from the Houston area to the Louisiana border. It could also affect coastal regions.
“Begin preparing your property, your supplies, your lines of communication to your family members,” he said. “Begin preparing to know exactly where you need to go if you need to evacuate."
The governor said hundreds of personnel from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Health and Human Services Commission and other state agencies will be available to provide emergency assistance. Boats, trucks and aircraft will be on standby for search and rescues.
“We will have all the tools and resources and personnel needed to help the state of Texas, as well as local governments,” Abbott said.
City leaders are also being asked to hire contractors for debris cleanup and repairs in case regular contractors are tied up in other areas, which could lead to longer recovery after any storm damage.
Abbott said none of the more than $4.3 billion in federal money for damage caused by Hurricane Harvey will be allocated toward cleanup for this weekend's potential storm. Recent infrastructure improvements are expected to mitigate severe flooding and damage in areas most at risk.
“I’m equally confident that you’re never 100 percent prepared for everything that may happen and there is always something new and something different,” he said. “But, candidly, we have experience doing this, and we’ll be able to employ that experience by moving with speed and effectiveness.”