SAN ANTONIO (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressed the press about Hurricane Harvey on Thursday. Currently, Corpus Christi will receive the brunt of the storm, the hurricane was elevated a category 3.
Abbot announced that he has filed the paperwork to President Donald Trump to have a state of emergency declared.
“I have issued a request for a presidential disaster declaration,” Abbott said. “We can tell at this stage this is going to be a very major disaster.”
He began by stating that the threat of tornadoes has already plagued part of the Texas coastline and they are expecting more. He urged the public to remain vigilant.
Abbott said that while some local official may not have ordered mandatory evacuations for the area. He strongly encourages those that live within the path of the storm's impact to make their way north.
“One place people can go to if they are considering to relocating to an evacuation location is a state park and there is absolutely no charge for that at this period,” the governor said.
Due to the sheer volume of rain expected over several days, government officials are expecting record flooding from Corpus Christi to Houston.
The state is working alongside the American Red Cross to help establish shelters. Seven shelters are currently open and they plan to open 47 more. Those looking to find a shelter near them are urged to call 1-800 Red Cross for more information.
“We have the ability to shelter 41,000 evacuees if the need arises,” Abbott added.
The governor said that official’s priority is to minimize any loss of life. When questioned if government ID’s would be required to enter these shelters he said no and that anyone need will be welcome.
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have pledged federal funds for emergency response and relief.