Current situation in Texas as Harvey pounds the southeast region

Governor Greg Abbott giving a briefing on Harvey at the State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, Aug. 30. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Governor Greg Abbott giving a briefing on Harvey at the State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, Aug. 30. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to pound the Texas-Louisiana border, Gov. Greg Abbott says more rescue crews are being deployed to Southeast Texas to deal with the emergency conditions there.

On Wednesday morning, Abbott conducted a briefing to discuss the ever-changing rescue and recovery efforts happening across the state.

“At the same time we’re rebuilding around the Coastal Bend region and receding waters in Harris County, we’re now also dealing with catastrophic conditions in Southeast Texas,” Abbott said. “And those conditions are a threat to life and property.”

Here are some of the biggest things to know:

More Help is Coming

  • Abbott activated 12,000 National Guard members in the wake of Harvey and currently, there are around 14,000 members on the ground. The state is now requesting an additional 10,000 National Guard members from other states, bringing the total to 24,000 in Texas.
  • 200 boats and 200 vehicles from the Department of Defense are being made available and will be assigned where needed

Disaster Declarations

  • 33 counties are now part of the federal disaster declaration.
  • Newest counties added to Presidential Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance (Categories A and B including Direct Federal Assistance) include: Colorado, Fayette, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Jacinto and Waller County
  • The following counties have been declared for Public Assistance (Category B) including Direct Federal Assistance, as they are sheltering jurisdictions: Dallas, Tarrant, Travis

Rescues and Evacuees

  • As of Wednesday morning, crews have made more than 8,500 rescues and more than 26,000 have been evacuated.
  • There are more than 32,000 people in shelters across the state. Texas has approximately 30,000 beds that are available for sheltering as needed.
  • Buses are available to transport evacuees from Southeast Texas and take them to locations throughout the state. Many people will be taken to the Dallas region, but not necessarily everyone.

Fuel/Energy Needs

  • The state is working with the EPA and energy companies to ensure that fuel is available, but current priority is making sure first responders have the fuel they need for rescue efforts.
  • Oil companies are working as swiftly as possible to make sure fuel operations will be restored quickly.
  • Centerpoint has around 90,000 customers without power (Harris County area)
  • Entergy has around 81,000 customers without power (Beaumont area)

When asked about how the state is dealing with price gouging complaints, Abbott said, “It’s un-Texan and we will not tolerate it.” He also thanked all the first responders who are working tirelessly to get people to dry land.

“Texans really step up and help and aid their fellow Texans. Neighbor helping neighbor. Friend helping friend. Stranger helping stranger,” Abbott said.

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