Gov. Perry Deploys State Resources as South Texas Prepares for Hurricane Dolly
Gov. Rick Perry today ordered state resources pre-deployed to areas throughout south Texas to help communities prepare for Hurricane Dolly's landfall expected tomorrow.
Hurricane Dolly is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 - 8 inches with isolated amounts of 15 inches over much of South Texas and northeastern Mexico. Coast storm surge flooding of 4 - 6 feet above normal tide levels along with large and dangerous battering waves can be expected near and to the north of where the center makes landfall.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the coast of Texas from Brownsville to Corpus Christi. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Corpus Christi to San Luis Pass. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.
Texas Forest Service: The Lonestar Task Force is on standby ready to be deployed. TFS will deploy 3 Incident Management Teams to Weslaco tonight to support of incident mass care activities.
Texas Military Forces: 1,200 national guardsmen, an incident management team and six UH-60s have been activated and pre-positioned throughout south Texas.
Texas Engineering and Extension Service: 160 personnel including Task Force 1, Water Rescue Teams, and Helicopter Rescue Specialists have been activated. Texas Task Force 2 has been alerted and remains on standby in Dallas.
Deaf Link: Informational alerts, fuel and emergency supply kits have been made accessible for the deaf, hard of
hearing, deaf-blind or blind residents in the affected counties and distributed through individual notification system.
Texas Department of Transportation: In far south Texas, courtesy patrols began at 8:00 a.m. with 14 vehicles. Dynamic message signs have been activated with fuel message.
Public Works Response Team: Teams in McAllen have been placed on alert and are standing by ready for deployment. The team's resources are listed in the Texas Regional Response Network Database and will have both assessment response capabilities.
American Red Cross: Operations Headquarters and warehousing facility have been established in San
Antonio. Seven Emergency Response Vehicles are ready to be deployed to Weslaco when requested; one is currently in Laredo and 6 are in San Antonio pre-positioned. Six shelter trailers are in position in Laredo for post hurricane sheltering. Shelter teams are being recruited for post hurricane sheltering.
The Salvation Army : 4 canteens have been deployed to Weslaco HEB Distribution Center. One canteen will support the EMC Strike Team and 300 individuals for 3 - 4 days. An additional 5-6 strike teams will report following the storm.
Department of Information Services: The agency is working with 2-1-1 to prepare the system for increased call volume and creating specific notices for Dolly. Staff has contacted customer agencies to assist in preparations for assistance following Dolly. DIR will help entities that require any additional equipment and/or bandwidth. Additionally, DIR is working with Bearing Point and TxDOT to ensure information on TexasOnline is current.
Department of Aging and Disability Services: Central office staff is coordinating with DADS regional office staff to make contact with long term care providers. Provider associations have also been notified and are contacting member agencies and facilities to offer assistance and to determine any needs for assistance, supplies or unmet needs. The 69 facilities in the four county area have evacuation plans available and will implement based on local instructions. Home health agencies were notified to assist individuals that require assistance with evacuation or other needs. No providers are contemplating relocation of residents at this time.
Texas Railroad Commission: Natural gas utilities are required to notify the commission if they are projecting a loss of service to customers. They also must notify the commission after the loss of service within a reasonable time period (2 to 3 hours). The commission received a courtesy notice update from CenterPoint on Monday, July 21, noting that they are not projecting any loss of service at this time due to the storm.
Department of Insurance: Consumer Protection has 3 staff teams on standby ready to head to the Valley after landfall; one for Brownsville, one for McAllen and a roving mobile team. These teams will offer assistance to consumers at DRCs in filing claims, contacting their insurance companies, and if needed, filing complaints.
Texas Animal Health Commission: The commission is hauling two of its small emergency management trailers to Weslaco, where they will be used by three TAHC livestock inspectors assigned to work with the 3 incident management teams. TAHC inspectors also are on duty at the Disaster Districts in McAllen and Corpus Christi.
The Texas State Animal Resource Team will be in Weslaco, working with the Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas to assist with small animal situations. Selected TAHC and United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Veterinary Service field personnel are on stand-by to assist in recovery operations. TAHC is also working with the Texas State Animal Resource Team to see if they can obtain assistance from various animal humane and welfare groups around the State to assist the mass care strike team(s) and the incident management team(s).
Texas Education Agency: Most schools in the four counties of the Rio Grande Valley - schools that are conducting summer sessions - will be closed on Wednesday. The agency is contacting school districts in counties that might be impacted to emphasize the importance of making sure all records will be safe if sustained flooding occurs. Continuity of service (student records, etc.) could be a major issue.
Texas Department of Public Safety - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: 25 CVE Bus Inspectors have been mobilized and are en-route to Kelly USA San Antonio. DDC McAllen has been tasked with providing eight two-man units (16 troopers) for Mass Care Strike Teams to be staged at HEB Distribution Center in Weslaco.
General Land Office: The agency has secured equipment at the Brownsville warehouse, and has one airboat secured at the Harlingen airport. GLO is moving one 17', one 21' boat and one truck to the Beeville staging area. There is one Relocation Wildlife Refuge trailer and one Jon Boat going to a warehouse in Port Lavaca.
Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services: Actions are underway to protect assets from flooding and to ensure continuity of operations. DARS staff is standing by to provide support as requested.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: A strike team capable of handling hazardous materials emergency responders, additional public water supply and wastewater specialists, and a self contained mobile command post trailer with interoperable radio communications and satellite/wireless internet connections is on standby for pre-deployed in Austin. The agency is monitoring the impacts to dam and levee structures in the impacted area. TCEQ is on standby for fuel waivers if necessary. TCEQ is providing a regional representative on the State Rapid Assessment Team that will flyover and assess the impacted area immediately after the storm. Regional staff contacted public water supply and wastewater facilities in the potentially impacted area and updated vital information needed for post storm assessments. TCEQ is prepared to provide public water supply and wastewater specialists to assist with assessing storm damage to these facilities.
Health and Human Service Commission: Currently there are three Property Damage Assessment teams on standby ready to deploy with GDEM and FEMA. HHSC has coordinated the delivery of one load of ice and water to the San Antonio Regional Command and requested delivery of 10 loads of ice and water to the RSA in Weslaco to support the POD's with an additional 10 loads of ice and water on standby. HHSC has notified state offices in the projected effected area.
Department of Family and Protective Services: The agency has implemented efforts to protect personnel and agency assets such as equipment and offices in the vulnerable areas. This includes protecting critical equipment and records, initiating communication protocols to stay in contact with staff and clients, adding a hurricane news section on the public website. DFPS is reminding foster parents and caregivers that they are required to follow any evacuation orders for an area and must notify the agency as soon as possible of their new location. Once a family reaches its evacuation destination, they may notify their local CPS office or call the DFPS Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 to check in.
Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA): The agency is preparing to conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments in conjunction with the Governor's Division of Emergency Management Public Assistance Disaster Recovery Team. ORCA's disaster relief funds are available to rural counties in Texas for eligible activities in relief of disaster situations where either the governor has proclaimed a state disaster declaration or the president has issued a federal disaster declaration. Communities may use the grants as a 25 percent match required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or as funds of last resort.
Texas Agrilife Extension Services: Texas AgriLife Extension Service has activated 52 personnel across 17 coastal counties, at two AgriLife Research and Extension Centers and a marine education center to secure state resources to support local jurisdictions and DDC's for community, business, family preparedness and recovery planning for wind and flooding threats. Additionally, 6 AgriLife Communications personnel in College Station have initiated plans for printing and distribution of recovery educational materials. Public household and farmstead mitigation and recovery information are available at http://texashelp.tamu.edu.
Fuel Teams: An emergency fuel contract has been activated to support possible evacuation and response requirements. The fuel industry is reporting a significant increase in retail fuel sales along the entire Texas Coast. As conditions change, appropriate modifications will be made to spur further retail sales and subsequent fuel storage.
Texas Department of Public Safety: The Texas Highway Patrol has about 50 troopers on standby from regions Three (Corpus Christi/San Antonio) and 8 (Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo). Highway Patrol in San Antonio will conduct level-one CVE inspections on buses used for evacuations, looking for problems with brakes, drivers, etc. DPS Aircraft and dive teams are also on standby.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 53 game wardens have been deployed and are stationed from Corpus to Brownsville. 57 boats and 6 airboats are available. In addition, there are another 112 game wardens, outfitted with 70 boats and 9 air boats poised to deploy within two hours should it become necessary.
Additionally, 3 shelters have been opened in San Antonio:
Highlands High School (Used for responders/IMT)
3118 Elgin Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78210
Burbank High School (Evacuated from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Port of
Isabel Detention Center)
San Antonio, TX 78204
Holmes High School (General Population)
6500 Ingram Rd
San Antonio, TX 78238
Additional emergency resources are available for activation and deployment as needed at the request of local officials.
Earlier today, the governor issued a disaster declaration for Aransas, Bexar, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Willacy counties. The governor's declaration allows the state to initiate necessary preparedness efforts, such as pre-deploying resources requested by local officials to ensure their communities are ready to respond to severe weather.
The State Operations Center is conducting daily conference calls with local officials, first responders, mass care providers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Weather Service to assess the latest weather projections and to coordinate state and local preparation and response.