Dangerous flooding in West Texas area
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to be prepared for continued rising water and flooding of creeks, rivers, storm drains and low-lying areas across the West Texas region.
“Additional rainfall is expected in areas of West Texas this week, further increasing the danger of flooding,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The state of Texas has committed a number of resources to protect West Texas residents from this threat, and we are also urging Texans to do their part to stay safe by taking extra caution and avoiding flooded areas and low-water crossings.”
Heavy rains have caused flooding and water hazards across parts of West Texas for several days, which have led to road closures, damaged homes and multiple water rescues. According to current weather projections, additional rainfall is expected in the already saturated areas of West Texas. These weather conditions will increase the threat of flooding as lakes, creeks and rivers exceed 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 – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- Ensure children and pets are kept safely away from flooded areas.
- Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm – if you encounter any flooding, move to higher ground.
- Monitor weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information about 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 the 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 to impacted communities; Texas Task Force 1 will provide personnel and equipment for potential water rescues; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens are on standby to assist local officials with search and rescue operations; Texas Military Forces will provide assistance to local officials with aircraft, personnel and high-profile vehicles as needed; Texas Department of Transportation crews are monitoring highways and staging personnel and equipment in the area; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues to monitor dams and river levels. Additionally, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are prepared to assist impacted communities with sheltering needs.