10,000 National Guardsmen from other states are on the way to Texas, according to Governor Abbott. They will provide support to what's already considered to be the largest guard "Call Up" in state history.
The State Emergency Operations Center in north Austin has been up and running for a week now. Wednesday morning, as computer monitors and radar tracked Harvey spin into southeast Texas, people continued to be rescued, like by an airlift in the Houston area and out of flood waters that were sweeping through Beaumont and Port Arthur.
In the Ops Center, Governor Greg Abbott was briefed by emergency coordinators about the constantly changing search and recovery effort. After the briefing, Abbott praised those who answered the call for help.
"Whether you are a first responder, or just an individual, neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend, stranger helping stranger, Texans have really stepped up."
The federal response has also ramped up. 10,000 extra National Guardsmen are rolling into Texas from other states. They will provide much needed relief for the 14,000 members of the Texas Guard that has been in high water for the past several days.
According to the governor, the call up has now become the largest ever in state history and will continue to grow even after the rain moves out.
"It is essential, that we have as many people possible to continue to go door to door, for the rescue and recover mission, and the restoration of order mission.”
The governor also issued a stern warning. "Understand this. If you price gouge anybody, you could be subject to penalties of up to $25,000 per incident. If you are a business you could be put out of business by the Texas Attorney General, if you dare try any price gouging. It's unTexan and we will not tolerate it."
There is also the fuel problem. Some places are running out and not just in South Texas. An out of fuel sign was spotted Wednesday at a convenience store, along Hwy 71, in Sunset Valley.
"We have a priority right now, fuel priority must be for first responders so we can keep people safe and rescued and once we finish with the first responders needs we can get into other issues, but having talked to leaders of energy companies they are working as swiftly as possible to ensure fuel operations will be restored quickly,” said Governor Abbott.
Fuel and chemical spills are also a growing problem. Abbott said crews with TCEQ are in flood zones. The primary focus is on water and wastewater treatment plants; protecting those still on line and getting others back up.
The governor said new changes in state insurance laws should not cause problems for homeowers filing claims. He also said the state was accepting aid from Mexico.