AUSTIN, Texas— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is mobilizing Texas' Emergency Management in preparation for the torrential downpour. Emergency Management Officials say crews are on standby should local agencies need their help.
Some parts of Texas could see 10 to 12 inches of rain. For areas that may not be able to handle such a massive disaster response, the state has strategically placed equipment on standby.
On Friday, the state's Emergency Management Chief, Nim Kidd briefed the media at DPS headquarters, the heart of their operation. They are working with response representatives from across Texas to make sure everyone is on the same page about the weather conditions as they evolve.
Officials say FEMA is on standby and the State of Florida has also offered assistance should Texas need it.
Texas officials are also cautioning that the state could be looking at some very serious conditions. The state says in addition to low-water crossings, flood waters could swallow major highways and roadways. Officials are cautioning people to be prepared and pro-active and suggest signing up for alerts from their local governments, which includes people vacationing in central Texas.
"The preparedness message right now is to point that it is a dangerous event," Kidd said, adding, "We will have a lot of rain in a very short period of time to areas that aren't ready for this kind of rain. If you don't have to get out and travel, stay home. If you come to low water or water over the road, turn around- don't drown, don't put yourself or your family in jeopardy."
Chief Kidds says meteorologists are comparing the weather conditions to the floods of 1998. He says they are telling him, it's "the same time of the year, same tropical conditions," and Kidd adds, "I think we just have to wait and see what the outcome is."
The 1998 floods of a hurricane that never made landfall dumped 22 inches of rain— and record floods during the following week. Thirty-one people lost their lives and property damage totaled more than $750 million dollars.
The National Weather Service published a report after the tragedy. In it, the cause of death for twenty six of those people is listed as drowning, at least 17 of them were in cars that were either driven into the water or swept away.