Border Crisis

Texas Declares Disaster Areas Ahead of Hurricane Beryl Landfall

Texas officials added 81 additional counties to the state’s disaster declaration in preparation for Hurricane Beryl’s arrival. The storm’s forecasted path shifted the expected landfall to the north and east of previous projections. The latest addition to the disaster declaration list brings the total number of Texas counties to 121.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is sitting in for Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The governor is traveling in East Asia on an economic development project. Patrick will be at the helm as acting governor when Beryl strikes the Texas coast on Monday. Governor Patrick urged Texans to make final preparations for Hurricane Beryl’s landfall; warning time was winding down as the storm approached the Texas Gulf Coast.

“As Hurricane Beryl approaches the Gulf Coast, today and tomorrow will be the last 2 days for Texans to make preparations for the coming storm,’ Patrick warned. “Beryl is a determined storm, and incoming winds and potential flooding will pose a serious threat to Texans who are in Beryl’s path at landfall and as it makes its way across the state for the following 24 hours.”

Patrick warned residents that localized flooding and heavy rain could occur in areas further from the coast near College Station, Tyler, and Texarkana as the storm moves through Texas on its current track. “The track may change over the next 40 hours,” Patrick added. “Texans need to take heed, watch their local officials, and prepare today and tomorrow before the storm makes landfall early Monday morning.”

The 81 Texas counties added to Patrick’s disaster declaration include Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Dallas, Delta, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Galveston, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hill, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jasper, Jefferson, Kaufman, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Marion, McLennan, Milam, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker, Waller, Washington, Williamson, and Wood counties. Patrick warned that more counties could be added if conditions warranted it.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to intensify as it moves northwest through the Gulf of Mexico before taking a northerly turn and making landfall as a hurricane along the mid-Texas coast on Monday.

As the storm nears, cities along the Texas Gulf Coast have issued warnings and advisories asking visitors to the popular beach cities to avoid travel to the area and in some cases have enacted mandatory evacuations for non-resident tourists. In Corpus Christi, city officials asked tourists to the beach city to consider departing early due to anticipated flooding along coastal areas.

The popular beach city of Port Aransas, located on Mustang Island, announced a mandatory visitor evacuation for all non-residents of the island beach community on Sunday. The order went into effect at noon.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.



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