Governor Issues Disaster Declaration for Southeast Texas
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for communities in Southeast Texas impacted by severe storms.
The declaration, which includes Harris and Orange counties, will further support the state’s recovery efforts in response to extensive damage sustained due to tornadic activity in Pasadena, Deer Park, and neighboring Southeast Texas communities, Abbott’s office noted. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as damage assessments are completed, the governor’s office added.
“Severe storms and tornadoes pose a threat of imminent disaster, including widespread and severe property damage, injury, and loss of life, due to damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rainfall, and flash flooding in Harris and Orange Counties,” the declaration stated.
In a statement posted on the governor’s website, Abbott said Texas is ready to assist Texans and businesses impacted by tornados in Southeast Texas communities.
“This disaster declaration will swiftly provide all necessary resources to help Texans navigate the recovery process during this difficult time,” Abbott added in the statement.
Earlier this week, Abbott urged all Texans impacted by recent severe storms and winter weather to self-report property damage by using the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s (TDEM) iSTAT damage survey.
“The State of Texas is working around the clock to ensure those affected by winter weather and severe storms have the support they need to recover," Abbott said in a government statement.
On Monday, Abbott directed the TDEM to prepare state emergency response resources ahead of a winter storm system and severe weather threats that were expected to move across Texas through Wednesday morning.
In a statement posted on its Twitter page on Tuesday, Shell Deer Park Chemicals said it was experiencing an incident due to severe weather.
We're currently experiencing an incident due to severe weather. We're taking steps to minimize any noise, light, or smoke associated with this flaring activity. This is being handled within the boundaries of this facility. There is no threat to the community. pic.twitter.com/hLrbSx0x1u— Shell Deer Park Chemicals (@ShellDeerPark) January 24, 2023
“Due to severe weather and the resulting loss of on-site steam, Shell Chemicals at Deer Park is currently flaring. There is no threat to the community, nor are there any indications a nearby tornado touched down within the Chemicals facility,” Shell Deer Park Chemicals said in a follow up Twitter statement posted on the same day.
“We are taking steps to minimize any noise, light, or smoke associated with the flaring activity, though it’s expected to continue until the units are restarted,” Shell Deer Park Chemicals added in the follow up statement.
An ExxonMobil spokesperson told Rigzone that there was no significant damage to the company’s facilities at Baytown from the storm. The ExxonMobil Baytown Complex is one of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world, according to the company’s website.
Red Cross Opens Shelter
On Tuesday, the American Red Cross announced that it had opened an emergency shelter in Pasadena to assist those affected by the tornado.
“Red Cross workers are prepared to provide warm meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs,” the American Red Cross said in a statement sent to Rigzone.
“The shelter is located at Baker Ripley, 720 Fairmont, Pasadena,” the American Red Cross added.
In the statement, the American Red Cross highlighted that anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, including the following:
- Prescriptions and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
- Chargers for any electronic devices
- Books, games and other entertainment
For more information on the American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region, visit www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast.html. To contact the author, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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