Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Issues Disaster Declaration For Presidio County

Requests Emergency Presidential Disaster Declaration

Thursday, September 18, 2008  •  Press Release

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry tonight issued a disaster declaration and requested a presidential disaster declaration for Presidio County in response to floods threatening lives and homes the area.  An excess release of water from reservoirs in northern Mexico following periods of heavy rain has caused a levee breach along the Rio Grande River threatening Presidio County.

"This situation poses an immediate danger to the residents of Presidio," said Gov. Perry.  "The state is working with local officials to provide the necessary personnel and equipment to protect life and property in the area.

To mitigate potential damage to homes and businesses, Gov. Perry has authorized the deployment of five CH-47 helicopters to transport large sandbags and other flood prevention resources, along with 170 Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates who will assist in these efforts by filling sandbags needed to create a dam around a railroad trestle.

The compromised levee on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande River is the result of an excess release of water from Luis Leon Reservoir on the Mexican side of the border.  Presidio Mayor Lorenzo Hernandez ordered the mandatory evacuation of approximately 500 people from low-lying areas in the county on Tuesday.

The United States International Boundary and Water Commission operates and maintains 15 miles of Rio Grande flood control levees in the Presidio area, providing protection to 5,403 acres of land on the United States side of the Presidio-Ojinaga Valley. Companion levees provide protection to the Mexican side. The U.S. levees range in height from 6 to 14 feet and protect the river reach between Haciendita and Alamito Creek.

To view the letter that Gov. Perry wrote to President George W. Bush, please click here.  To view the proclamation that was written, please click here.

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