Dallas, Texas flooding: Gov. Greg Abbott makes disaster declaration

As floodwaters receded in Dallas, and across the state, Governor Greg Abbott was in North Texas to sign a 23-county disaster declaration.

"Importantly, additional counties may be added as the storm system works its way through the state," said Governor Abbott.

The Monday floods left behind a stark reminder of the aging infrastructure in many cities. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and the governor both pointed out the last flood this size to hit Dallas dates back to 1932.

"It dumped a record number of water, a record amount of water on our city in a very short period of time. It raises questions about, our infrastructure condition when you see how much water, you know, hit places like Fair Park and South Dallas and how the infrastructure held up," said Mayor Johnson. 

During the Tuesday briefing, it was noted that Dallas is spending more than a billion dollars on upgrades. While that will reduce flooding in the metroplex, Terry Lowery, the utility director in Dallas, said flooding was bound to happen.

"The quantities of rainfall that fell within the time period that they fell. I don't care what kind of system we had in place there was going to be flooding," said Lowery.

The August flooding follows a summer of drought with multiple wildfires. Before those events hit, there was the winter freeze of 2021. Bringing that up sparked a sharp exchange with the governor regarding climate change. 

"The point is. We’re constantly looking at what extreme weather may lead to, whether it be power, demand, extreme heat, extreme cold, heavy water or even drought. Speaking of drought, as an example, we're working on ways with the Texas Water Board to make sure we will be able to more fully address the needs of people in various regions of the state of Texas. In the event that we do have increased droughts going forward, as well as plugging in the increased population that we will have coming to the state of Texas," said Governor Abbott.

"Are you concerned about the climate change," asked a reporter.

The governor responded by once again using a different set of words.

"We constantly focus on issues such as extreme weather, and we want to we want to be prepared for whatever type of weather may be coming our way," said Governor Abbott.

That answer prompted one final question.

"Can you even say Climate Change?" asked reporter who got no response.

While the governor avoided using those two words, during the briefing property owners across Texas were urged to recognize the changing weather. A call for preparedness and enough insurance to replace what could be swept away.

We also learned that getting federal aid depends on damage reports from residents.

The state has to document almost $50 million of uninsured loss to public property across the state caused by this weather event. That typically equates to about 800 homes that don't have insurance. 

Below are resources to report storm damages: