Gov. Abbott: What stands strong is the character of Texans
Governor Gregg Abbott.—Photo
Governot Greg Abbott August 31, 2017
Newscast Media HOUSTON—No force of nature is more powerful
than Texans helping Texans. That is what we witnessed this weekend as
rising waters threatened communities around Harris County - and still as
search-and-rescue efforts continue.
Though the unfolding scenes of unimaginable devastation and destruction
left in Harvey's wake from Houston to Corpus Christi and beyond are
truly heartbreaking, what stands strong is the character of our Texas
family. In that, Harvey has met his match.
It was only 12 years ago when the good people of Houston answered the
call to help our neighbors from Louisiana when Katrina struck. And, as
we did then, we will again triumph over tragedy.
I am so proud of the dedication of all of our fearless emergency
responders and of the armada of selfless citizens who have worked so
tirelessly to rescue those in need, transporting them to safety,
sometimes in their arms. So many lives were saved.
Preserving life remains our first priority. That is why I have now
activated the entire Texas National Guard to assist in ongoing search
and rescue efforts for any Texans in immediate danger, and to help in
extensive recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm.
And I have five important messages:
I urge all of the citizens in the Houston area to listen to your local
officials. Heed all warnings. As the storm threatens to return and
waters continue to rise, be prepared to take quick action advised by
emergency management officials.
If you are in a safe place, do not attempt to return until an all-clear
is announced. This may take days, and I urge patience. Without basic
services like power, water and sanitation, and with power lines down,
the risks to your safety are too great. The restoration of power is a
priority and is underway.
Basic necessities including food and water are being delivered to points
of distribution in each affected county. Portable sanitation facilities
will begin arriving Tuesday.
Residents of 18 counties now qualify for individual federal financial
disaster assistance. Those counties include Aransas, Bee, Brazoria,
Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson,
Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, San Patricio, Refugio, Victoria and
Wharton. If you live in one of these 18 counties, check www.disasterassistance.gov
for more information on temporary housing and long-term recovery
assistance. More of the 58 counties declared as state disaster areas may
Finally, if you need help, ask. We will be here until we can restore this region.
The strength and mass of this hurricane and storm was unprecedented as
was the aggressive advance action and coordination of federal, state and
local emergency management resources.
I am grateful to the president for his rapid and personal attention to
our requests and for the support of his cabinet members. Local emergency
managers, elected officials, law enforcement and first responders have
been exemplary in this time of crisis; their courage and unparalleled
leadership has minimized the loss of life. And I thank the professionals
of FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas National Guard, Texas Department
of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and all of our
state agencies as well as work crews from neighboring states, Texas
businesses and all citizens who have opened their homes, their hearts
and their wallets to help Texans during this catastrophe.
The moments of heroism and selflessness witnessed this weekend
demonstrate what it is to be a Texan, a neighbor, a friend. We've seen
the best of America and a reaffirmation of the unshakable bonds of our
Losses cut deep. Rebuilding will take months and likely years. But we
will persevere. And Houston and the jewels of our Texas coast will again
For Texans wishing to help, please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross.
The First Lady and I invite you to join us in praying for our Texas family. May God keep you safe. .