Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Houston Flooding Briefing

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006  •  Speech

Good morning.  I have been briefed on the flooding situation in Southeast Texas and want to continue to urge Texans to use great caution. 

Though floodwaters have receded in certain areas, several parts of Houston and Southeast Texas have been saturated with enough rainfall that flash flood conditions can form in a matter of minutes or even seconds, transforming a seemingly safe patch of land into a life-threatening hazard.

My advice is to continue to avoid low-lying areas and avoid unfamiliar areas and roads that could lead you into unwelcome conditions.

I want to commend the quick response of Judge Eckels, Mayor White and the local city and county rescue personnel, as well as the search and rescue personnel made available by the state.

To date I have authorized use of:

50 large trucks with Texas Army National Guard crews, two HH-60, two UH-60 and two CH-47 helicopters, 30 Parks and Wildlife rescue boats, seven swift water rescue teams from Texas Task Force One, the 6th Army National Guard civil support team and an incident management team from both the Texas Forest Service and the National Guard. 

We also are providing a satellite communications package system that enables responders to coordinate from wherever they are operating, among other resources.

This storm is just yet another reminder of the dangerous weather season that is upon us, and that each Texas family needs to take time to prepare their own emergency response plan that includes provisions for food and water, and supplies like batteries and flashlights. 

We do not always know what Mother Nature will bring, but we must always be prepared.

Once again, the people of Houston and all of Southeast Texas are showing they are prepared to respond to tragic circumstances in an orderly and efficient way. 

(That may contradict the recent claims of the Department of Homeland Security, but I will take the facts on the ground any day over the view from a distant bureaucratic perch.)

We will get through this tragedy like the many before it, with a helping hand and prayerful hearts. 

Southeast Texas will get all the help we can muster.  Thank you.

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