Texas Braces For Hurricane Beryl, Expands Disaster Declarations

With Hurricane Beryl fast approaching, Texas officials have significantly expanded the state’s disaster declaration to include 81 more counties, bringing the total to 121. The storm’s revised path now predicts landfall further north and east than previously expected.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, acting as governor while Greg Abbott is in East Asia, urged Texans to finalize their storm preparations. “As Hurricane Beryl approaches the Gulf Coast, today and tomorrow will be the last 2 days for Texans to make preparations for the coming storm,” Patrick emphasized. He warned that Beryl’s strong winds and potential flooding pose serious threats to those in its path.

The additional counties declared disaster areas are Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Dallas, Delta, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Galveston, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hill, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jasper, Jefferson, Kaufman, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Marion, McLennan, Milam, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker, Waller, Washington, Williamson, and Wood counties. Patrick indicated that more counties could be added if needed.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to intensify into a hurricane as it moves northwest through the Gulf of Mexico, with landfall projected along the mid-Texas coast on Monday.

Cities along the Gulf Coast have issued various warnings and advisories. In Corpus Christi, officials advised tourists to leave early due to potential flooding. Port Aransas, located on Mustang Island, has mandated an evacuation for all non-resident visitors, effective Sunday at noon.

Patrick cautioned residents that the storm could cause significant flooding and heavy rain even in areas far from the coast, such as College Station, Tyler, and Texarkana. “The track may change over the next 40 hours,” he added. “Texans need to take heed, watch their local officials, and prepare today and tomorrow before the storm makes landfall early Monday morning.”

As Beryl approaches, Texans are urged to stay informed, follow local advisories, and complete necessary preparations to ensure their safety. The state’s proactive measures aim to mitigate the impact of the hurricane and protect residents from its potentially devastating effects.