Governor Greg Abbott eased public concern Monday afternoon in Wimberley after historic flooding washed away over 65 homes in Hays County.
Abbott said he observed the destruction the Blanco River flood caused along the river communities from his helicopter ride into Wimberley.
Abbott said “you cannot candy-coat” the damage from Sunday’s storm. He said the damage is massive and Wimberley Valley now holds the flood record in Texas.
“This is the highest flood we’ve ever had recorded in the history of the State of Texas,” Abbott said.
Abbott declared 24 counties, including Hays, Caldwell and Bastrop, a disaster Monday afternoon.
“People across the state need to understand that what we have seen here in Hays County could possibly affect other counties downstream,” Abbott said. “River basins all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico are going to be facing challenging consequences.”
Abbott visited Wichita Falls before arriving in Wimberley. Abbott, along with other county officials, held a statewide telephone conference to discuss issues and concerns.
“That’s one thing about Texas—whenever we face challenges, we galvanize and come together to support our friends and our neighbors,” Abbott said.
Abbott thanked first responders and volunteers for their work and said local officials have been “remarkable.”
“Texas is so well-equipped with so many great personnel and assets from top to bottom,” Abbott said.
Abbott urged officials across Texas to alert citizens about potential dangers of ongoing weather conditions and their consequences.
“Don’t risk your lives by not trying to evacuate,” Abbott said. “As we saw here in Hays County, the water can rise very rapidly.”