AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Austin where he provided an update on the state's ongoing response to Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall this evening as a Category 4 hurricane with catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rain, river flooding, and flash flooding throughout Southeast Texas. The Governor urged Texans in the path of the storm to evacuate if they have not already done so, and stressed the projected devastation of this storm. The press conference followed a briefing with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), state agency directors, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The Governor noted that in addition to the pre-positioned resources announced yesterday, the State of Texas has deployed 400 buses, 38 aircraft, 82 boats, 202 high-profile vehicles, and 60 ambulances ahead of Hurricane Laura's landfall. Governor Abbott stressed that power outages are likely, and urged Texans to avoid bringing generators into their homes due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Governor also announced that the counties of Camp, Ellis, and Tarrant have been added to his State Disaster Declaration and has requested that the federal government add these counties to the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Governor Abbott also discussed planned recovery efforts, and noted that TDEM Recovery personnel, damage assessment platforms, and volunteer organizations are already in place for deployment post-landfall.
"The power of Hurricane Laura is unprecedented, and Texans must take action now to get out of harm's way and protect themselves," said Governor Abbott. "The conditions of this storm are unsurvivable, and I urge Southeast Texans to take advantage of these final few hours to evacuate, secure their property, and take all precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The State of Texas is prepared to respond to the storm, and we are working alongside federal and local officials to keep Texans safe."
Hurricane Laura is projected to make landfall as a major hurricane in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana just after midnight tonight. Unsurvivable storm surge is projected to cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park in Texas into Louisiana. Tropical storm force winds will move into Jefferson and Orange counties around 7:00 PM this evening, and hurricane force winds will be possible just after midnight. Rain bands will begin moving towards the Texas coast this afternoon and will move through East Texas after midnight into Thursday. East Texas is also projected to experience hurricane force winds as the storm travels north.
Visit the Texas Hurricane Center webpage to learn more about the state's response to Hurricane Laura.