AUSTIN (KXAN) — Over the weekend, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had a phone call with local response leaders to prepare for intense rainfall and flooding throughout the state.
On Monday, Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness level of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) to Level II, which is classified as an escalated response, a press release said.
Dallas is already dealing with life-threatening flooding. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared a state of disaster and requested federal assistance due to the flooding. Jenkins said at least one person has died after being swept away in floodwaters. Jenkins said the woman was 60 years old
The state says it’ll have its people and other resources on deck, for any local agencies that ask for help.
TDEM told Nexstar it has more than 250 people ready to help in any part of the state.
“That’s military aircraft, helicopters and ground crews,” TDEM spokesperson Wes Rapaport said.
In El Paso, officials have already started handing out sandbags to help block water.
The National Weather Service forecasted heavy rain and flash flooding in the Panhandle, West Texas and South Texas this week, plus large hail and winds.
“It is so important for residents to remain weather aware, you know, monitoring local forecasts, following the local weather reports, watching the local news, making sure that you know what’s going on in your community so that you don’t put yourself into harm’s way,” Rapaport said. “Whenever this dries out, we’ll start mitigation.”
If you are experiencing severe weather in your area, it’s best to stay home and follow local guidance from emergency agencies.