- A look at how summer storms create localized damaging winds
- Tornadoes spur injuries, damage in eastern Pennsylvania
- Wisconsin storms bring 3 tornados; 1 man dies in crash
- Tornado watch vs warning: What to do when you see alert messages
- Non-profit group organizing clean-up for home damaged by flooding on Leon Creek
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the state’s emergency management center, July 10, 2019. John C Moritz, USA Today Network
A tropical storm could develop in the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says.
AUSTIN — With the makings of a tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday put state search and rescue teams on standby and began identifying potential sites to shelter Texans who may have to leave their homes to escape bad weather.
Speaking at the state’s emergency operations centers in North Austin, the governor said lessons learned after Hurricane Harvey battered the Texas Coast and caused catastrophic flooding around Houston two years ago are being put to use as Texas prepares for another major storm.
“We are far better situated today than ever before to weather a storm like this,” Abbott, flanked by the state’s top-level emergency management leaders, told reporters.
Abbott said the state’s premier response unit, Texas Task Force I, along with units from the National Guard, the Texas Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services and others are taking steps to deal with weather-related issues like flooding and high winds.
Early models from the National Hurricane Center show the storm moving west in the Gulf from Florida toward the Texas-Louisiana border. But the impact of the storm could stretch from west of Houston and north toward regions east of Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Predicting precisely where the storm is headed is an imprecise task,” Abbott said.
But that’s why local authorities and residents in the likely path of the weather system —which will be named Barry if it develops to a tropical storm or hurricane — should take steps immediately to cope with both the disaster and its after-effects, Abbott said.
“I ask that all Texans stay alert to the developments of severe weather and heed all warnings from local and state officials as this storm approaches,” Abbott said. “This is kind of an early warning. … Be prepared. We don’t know how severe this is going to be.”
The state has activated a website, txready.org, for people to monitor the storm and to find the resources they need to stay safe.
The National Hurricane Center said on its website Wednesday the tropical system had already begun drenching parts of Louisiana with heavy flooding.
“Environmental conditions are conducive for development of this system, and a tropical depression is expected to form late today or Thursday while the low moves slowly westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico,” the Center said.
John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.
Read or Share this story: https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/texas/state-bureau/2019/07/10/gov-abbott-outline-hurricane-preparedness-storm-brews-gulf/1687310001/