AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN/Nexstar/KTAB) — Gov. Greg Abbott is urging Texans to prepare as a tropical system development in the Gulf of Mexico could impact parts of the state and hurricane season continues.
“Predicting precisely where the storm in the gulf is headed is a very imprecise task,” Abbott said. “It is impossible right now to know exactly how severe this storm will become and exactly where it will go.”
Abbott said the high probability models show that in the coming days, the storm could evolve into a hurricane. State leaders have elevated the state emergency operations center and other agencies have personnel and equipment on standby ready to deploy where help is needed. Abbott added that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is currently monitoring the potential environmental concerns.
“We want to make sure the state of Texas is doing all we can to prepare in advance for the storm,” he said.
Abbott also stressed the importance of obtaining flood insurance, saying that additional storms could arrive later this summer and into the fall.
Though the 86th Legislature set aside funding and passed a package of bills related to Hurricane Harvey, some of those dollars won’t go towards this particular storm. Abbott noted that it’s tied to the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and has to be spent on that process.
“Having another storm overlaid on top of that makes that a little more complicated,” he said. “But because of what it will be doing to assist in making all those areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, which overlap with what this storm will be, it will be beneficial to those communities to be able to rebuild in both the short term and long term.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted satellite imagery of the storm that they believe has a high chance of turning into a tropical cyclone later in the week.
You can track the storm yourself on KXAN’s interactive radar hurricane tracker.
How to prepare for a hurricane
Austin Watershed Protection says Austin is “in the heart of Flash Flood Alley.” They’ve provided links on their website for what people should do in case of flooded roads and being prepared. They also have links to floodplain maps in the area, rainfall data, flood insurance information, etc.
The U.S. government has a list of things they recommend you do to prepare for various circumstances on their website, Ready.gov. They suggest you make a plan for your family in case of a disaster like a hurricane, tropical system or flooding:
1. Discuss four questions with your family:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? (You can get the most up-to-date weather information from the KXAN Weather app)
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/ household communication plan?
2. Consider specific needs in your household:
- Different ages of members in your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Dietary and medical needs
- Pets or service animals
3. Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
4. Practice your plan with your family/ household