Tropical Storm Beryl: State officials prepare ahead of landfall

State officials are urging Texans to be prepared as Tropical Storm Beryl approaches the Texas coast Sunday night.

Acting Governor Dan Patrick and Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd held a press conference on the state's preparation process and plans for the aftermath.

"Let's pray nothing happens where you live, but something is going to happen where some of you live, and that something will be significant wind, significant rain, and some flooding and again surge along the coast," said Lt. Gov. Patrick, who is acting governor while Gov. Greg Abbott is on an overseas trip to Asia.

On Sunday, Beryl churned through the Gulf of Mexico toward the coast of Texas. The storm is gaining strength to potentially turn back into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall overnight. 

"Trust me, you don't want to be in a Category 1. You are looking at winds 85 to 90 miles an hour. You don't want to be in that. You don't want to be in six to 12 inches of rain, you don't want to be in flooding," said Patrick.


Hurricane Beryl caused several deaths in the Caribbean islands this week.

"Property can be rebuilt but lives cannot be. The storm has already left 9 deaths in its path through the Caribbean. we don't want number 10 to be in Texas," said Patrick.

Patrick has placed more than 100 counties under a disaster declaration, including nine in Central Texas.

"Coastal, inland and the Houston area are the three areas that I see that I want to be sure that everyone is alert," said Patrick.

There is a threat of high winds and possible flooding across Central Texas. Fayette County is under a Tropical Storm Warning, and Fayette and Lee counties are under a flood watch, according to FOX 7 Austin meteorologist Leslie London.


"Now it is the time to make sure that all of your devices are charged up, your computers are charged up and that you have fuel in your vehicles," said Chief Kidd.

Chief Kidd says there will be power outages in some areas as a result of high winds and heavy rain.

Texans are urged to prepare for the impact of the storm.

"Number one again, if you are moving, today is the day to move away from those areas if you are concerned where the storm is. At least there is an area hurricane warning as well as a watch along that coastal area we have discussed. Number 2, if you are staying in place, be sure you are prepared. You don't want to have to go out tomorrow to get water or food or put gas in your car, it would be a good thing to do it today," said Patrick.

Chief Kidd says if you are out on the roads while it is raining, do not drive near flooded areas.

"What we find is that fresh water inland flooding tends to be more of a killer of our citizens than the actual storm surge, so please do not drive through water, turn around, don't drown," said Kidd.

State officials are preparing to go into recovery mode when the storm makes landfall and there are search and rescue, medical, and clean-up teams on standby.