Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mobilized 3,000 members of the National Guard and Texas National Guard Sunday due to the unprecedented and catastrophic flooding brought on by Hurricane/TS Harvey.
Abbott made the announcement during a news conference Sunday afternoon. He said the guard members will be stationed from Houston to Victoria to Corpus Christi and all areas in between along the Texas Gulf Coast. Along with the guard, Abbott said 500 vehicles, six shelters and 14 aircraft have been put into service.
Abbott reported there were about 316,000 people without electricity service, but said those numbers did not include Houston. CenterPoint Energy, the primary power provider in southeast Texas, told NBC 5 that as of 2 p.m. CT there were about 80,000 people without service in the Houston area.
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Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Transportation has mobilized 400 people who working on rescue and recovery missions in flooded areas.
[NATL] Dramatic Images: Floods Hit as Harvey Drenches Texas
Abbott also announced he's added 12 counties to the Presidential Disaster Declaration list granted last week, bringing the total number of Texas counties on that disaster list to 18. Also, 50 counties have already been declared state disaster zones, 30 earlier in the week and 20 on Saturday.
"Many parts of Eastern Texas, especially in and around Houston, are experiencing historic flooding causing the need to grow for additional resources that will allow us to answer the call for help from our fellow Texans. I thank those at FEMA for their attention to the severity of the situation in Texas and the people of this great state for coming together in this time of need," Abbott said.
The economic catastrophe caused by Harvey will linger for months, if not years. The global insurance broker BMS Group, in a research report Sunday afternoon, estimated Harvey would cause "well over" $10 billion in economic losses and more than $5 billion in insured losses. (All losses in a disaster are economic losses, but only some are insured, which is why that figure is substantially lower.)
Neither of those figures count flooding losses covered by FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. The flood program -- which received major bailouts in 2005 and 2012 and is due to expire next month -- has more than $60 billion in policies in force just in Harris County, which includes Houston.
"Clearly this could likely be one of the largest NFIP flood payout(s) in recorded history which will require a major relief bill," BMS said.
NBC 5 and Kroger are teaming up to get help with the relief effort for the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Visit your neighborhood Kroger and make a monetary donation to the American Red Cross at Kroger's check-out registers. All of the money will go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief. The American Red Cross is working around the clock to help those in need by providing food, shelter and emotional support for the people whose lives have been disrupted. Visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS for more information on the relief efforts.
Other ways to help the victims of Hurricane/TS Harvey:
The Salvation Army is also accepting financial donations. Salvation Army 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) HelpSalvArmy.org
Carter BloodCare will send blood donations to its partners affected by Hurricane Harvey. 1-877-571-1000. Text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999
SPCA of Texas is expecting 300 cats and dogs to come to North Texas. The agendy is asking for donations of cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, treats, toys and newspaper. Donations can be dropped off at the following two locations: SPCA of Texas Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center at 2400 Lone Star Drive in Dallas and the SPCA of Texas at 8411 Stacy Road in McKinney. Monetary donations can be made online at SPCA.org/gift