AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness level of the State Operations Center (SOC) as winter weather began impacting large portions of Texas through Thursday, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The National Weather Service forecasts a wintry mix—primarily freezing rain—until Thursday in West, Central and North Texas, with sub-freezing temperatures expected throughout the week, according to the release. Heavy rainfall and flash flood potential is also in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday in Central, East and Southeast Texas.
“The State of Texas is working tirelessly to ensure Texans and their communities have the resources, assistance, and support needed to respond to winter weather impacts across the state. As we mobilize the resources Texans need to stay safe, I encourage everyone to remain weather-aware, check DriveTexas.org before traveling, and heed the guidance from local officials. I want to thank all the first responders and emergency management personnel helping Texas communities prepare and stay safe during this severe weather.”
-Gov. Greg Abbott
The following state agencies were requested by TDEM to report to the SOC:
- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
- Texas A&M Forest Service
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
- Texas Animal Health Commission
- Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
- Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)
- Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Texas National Guard
- Texas Education Agency
- Texas Department of Information Resources
At the Governor’s direction, the following state emergency response resources were mobilized:
TxDOT: Winter weather roadway equipment and crews pre-treating and treating roadways, including roadway condition monitoring
TDEM: State Mass Care Coordination personnel working with local partners to update warming center maps; Communications Coordination Group is engaging with telecommunications partners
Texas National Guard: Four-wheel drive vehicles and personnel responding to support stranded motorists
Texas A&M Forest Service: Motor graders and personnel to assist with snow/ice clearance and saw crews to assist with removal of downed trees
PUC: Power outage monitoring and coordination with utility providers
RRC: Monitoring of the state’s natural gas supply and communication with the oil and gas industry
TCEQ: Personnel to monitor drinking water, wastewater, and air quality
DPS: Personnel patrolling roadways
DSHS: Texas Emergency Medical Task Force severe weather packages
To check road conditions, go to DriveTexas.org and find cold weather resources on the TDEM website.
Additionally, TDEM continued coordinating recovery operations in Southeast Texas in response to tornado damage sustained last week, the release said. On Monday, Abbott updated his disaster declaration to include Jefferson and Liberty counties, following confirmation of damage in those counties from severe storms.