Commissioner George P. Bush: Texas GLO is ready to assist with Hurricane Harvey storm response efforts

Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
brittany.eck@glo.texas.gov
PDF Version
PRESS RELEASE — Aug 25, 2017

AUSTIN - The Texas General Land Office (GLO) is operating on high alert and continuing preparations for Hurricane Harvey. For more than a week, the GLO has tracked the storm's progress through the Gulf of Mexico and coordinated the strategic response efforts of agency divisions. The GLO is responsible for several aspects of coastal management on behalf of the State of Texas, including the Hurricane Preparedness and Planning, Coastal Resources, Community Development and Revitalization, Oil Spill Prevention and Response and the Veterans Land Board.

"The current storm warning impacts nearly 16 million people, which is greater than the population of 46 states," said Commissioner Bush. "The GLO's Hurricane Task Force is ready to support our partners in Hurricane Harvey response efforts. We have coordinated all storm related operational functions so we can have boots on the ground assisting with response efforts including oil spill mitigation and debris removal. Additionally, my team is working with officials in communities in the storm's path to document damage in anticipation of long-term recovery efforts."

"The current storm warning impacts nearly 16 million people, which is greater than the population of 46 states," said Commissioner Bush. "The GLO's Hurricane Task Force is ready to support our partners in Hurricane Harvey response efforts. We have coordinated all storm related operational functions so we can have boots on the ground assisting with response efforts including oil spill mitigation and debris removal. Additionally, my team is working with officials in communities in the storm's path to document damage in anticipation of long-term recovery efforts."

Over the past week, the GLO initiated discussions with debris removal contractors who are standing by. GLO field equipment assets have been relocated as necessary. This includes including boats, trailers, communications equipment, and other response gear. Vehicles have been fueled and batteries charged in anticipation of deployment. The GLO's Port Lavaca and Corpus Christi field offices have relocated assets and closed offices. All regional teams remain on alert status, ready to provide support, while nonresponse staff have been encouraged to evacuate. The Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries have been preparing for the storm's arrival as well. All internments have been postponed, and flags and other items have been moved to secure storage until after the storm. The Veterans Homes are following Emergency Preparedness Plan protocols per Texas Department of Aging and Disability guidelines.

According to the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Hurricane Harvey is expected to strengthen into a powerful Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds. As hurricane-force winds approach the Texas coast, storm surge inundation will occur, with peak storm surges of 6-12 feet expected from the north entrance of Padre Island National Seashore to Sargent. Storm surge inundation will extend far beyond this outlined areas as well.

As hurricane bands move onshore and the center of Harvey moves towards the coast, there is also a threat of tornadoes. Outer bands of Harvey have already moved onshore overnight. Some areas have seen more than four inches of rainfall with these bands, mostly along the barrier islands. This heavy rainfall threat will be increasing as Hurricane Harvey slows significantly early Saturday after landfall. Extreme rainfall is expected at the middle Texas coast over the next several days. This will lead to devastating and life-threatening flooding.

Forecasts for the storm's path once it makes landfall are uncertain. While it is expected that the storm will remain over the middle Texas coast for several days, there may be some movement eastward by early next week towards the upper Texas coast, which will expand the heavy rain threat into that area as well.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on August 23, 2017, issued a disaster declaration for the following counties: Aransas, Austin, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton, and Wilson.

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