Texans Urged to Continue Monitoring Dangerous Weather

AUSTIN, May 21, 2015 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to remain vigilant and closely monitor weather conditions as severe storms are expected to continue impacting the state this week and through the Memorial Day weekend.

“Heavy rainfall and severe storms are expected to continue impacting significant portions of Texas this week and through the Memorial Day weekend. As Texans look forward to honoring our service members this weekend, it is critical that we not forget the significant weather threats facing our communities,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “With the ground already saturated in many parts of the state, any additional rainfall could quickly produce dangerous flash flooding. We urge residents to remain alert and heed the warnings of their local officials.”

Current forecasts indicate the continuation of severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, river flooding and tornadoes across the state throughout the week. At this time, any additional rainfall will exacerbate already saturated grounds, which could quickly lead to dangerous flash flooding and extended river flooding.

The State Operations Center (SOC) is continuing to monitor weather conditions and coordinate with the National Weather Service. The SOC – which remains activated at an elevated level – also continues to coordinate with the Texas Emergency Management Council to provide state resources and assistance to local leaders as these storms affect Texas communities.

Rising and moving water can threaten not only drivers on the roadways, but people on foot as well as those spending the holiday weekend outdoors near recreational waterways impacted by significant rainfall. Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips as severe weather continues:

When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.
Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water.
Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection.
Remember that dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
Stay informed by monitoring weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.
The state was impacted by severe storms and heavy rainfall on Tuesday, including multiple reports of tornadoes, and the state is continuing to provide support to those impacted communities as requested by local officials. For more information on the recent severe weather impacting Texas, visit: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/today.html

For additional safety tips related to tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding, see: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm

The American Red Cross has established the following website for individuals in impacted areas: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

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