FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
October 31, 2013
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging all Texans, including parents and trick-or-treaters tonight, to be prepared for continued rising water and flooding of creeks, rivers, storm drains and low-lying areas across Texas.
“As a result of the severe storm system that swept across Texas, we are facing dangerous flood conditions that have already led to a number of swift-water and high-water rescues,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Although the rain has ended, the danger of flooding has not. Ensuring the safety of Texans is our greatest priority, and we urge all Texans to do their part in keeping this Halloween safe for everyone by taking extra caution to avoid flooded areas and low-water crossings.”
Heavy rains caused floods and water hazards across parts of Texas overnight, which led to road closures, school and business closings, damaged homes and multiple water rescues. While most of the rainfall has ended, the danger of flooding continues across the state, as run-off continues and lakes, creeks and rivers reach capacity.
Individuals should use extra caution in low-lying areas prone to flooding as well as areas they are unfamiliar with. Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe:
- Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water.
- Be extremely cautious of any water on the road or near creeks, streams, storm drains, etc.
- Never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways.
- Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
- Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather.
- Monitor the forecast of river levels in your area (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/wgrfc/)
- Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
State resources responding to this weather event include:
DPS Texas Division of Emergency Management, which is coordinating the state’s response to this weather event to support local officials; DPS troopers and aircraft are providing assistance as needed in impacted communities; 2-1-1 is providing information to callers as requested; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) state game wardens are assisting local officials with multiple search and rescue operations; Texas Military Forces is providing assistance to local officials with personnel and high-profile vehicles; Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews are placing barricades on roads with high water and conducting ongoing debris cleanup operations; TxDOT message signs along roadways are urging Texans to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues to monitor dams and river levels. Additionally, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are assisting affected communities with sheltering needs.
State and other agencies on standby ready to assist with additional resources and support as needed include:
Texas Animal Health Commission; Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services; Texas A&M Forest Service; Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; Texas Task Force 1; Civil Air Patrol; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. TxDOT; Austin Disaster Relief Network; Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD); Greater Gulf Coast VOAD; and Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR).