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Gov. Greg Abbott issues disaster declaration for 29 counties as Tropical Storm Beta nears

Bexar County included in disaster declaration

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Beta, center,  in the Gulf of Mexico.  A hurricane watch is in effect Saturday for coastal Texas as Tropical Storm Beta gains strength.  A storm surge watch and a tropical storm watch are also in effect for the area during an exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season.  (NOAA via AP)
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Beta, center, in the Gulf of Mexico. A hurricane watch is in effect Saturday for coastal Texas as Tropical Storm Beta gains strength. A storm surge watch and a tropical storm watch are also in effect for the area during an exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season. (NOAA via AP)

SAN ANTONIO – As parts of Texas brace for potential flooding and heavy winds ahead of Tropical Storm Beta, Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for dozens of counties, including Bexar.

Abbott issued the declaration on Monday morning, activating the state’s emergency resources as the storm slowly approaches the Texas coast.

While it is not expected to gain hurricane strength, it could drop up to 15 inches of rain in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Counties in the state’s disaster declaration include: Aransas, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Patricio, Shelby, Travis, Victoria, and Wharton.

“As Tropical Storm Beta approaches the coast, I urge Texans in the path of the storm to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from flooding, storm surge, and other impacts from this severe weather,” Abbott said in a news release. “The State of Texas is working closely with local officials on the ground to provide the resources our communities need to respond to Tropical Storm Beta and keep residents safe.”

Localized flash flooding is expected well east of Interstate 35.

Beta’s slow movement and storm surge are generating concerns for some areas of Texas coast. As a result, beaches in Port Aransas, Corpus Christi and Padre Island have been closed since the weekend.

On Sunday night, fierce wind and rising water caused a portion of the 61st Pier in Galveston to completely snap and float away.

Beta is expected to make landfall near Port Lavaca on Monday afternoon.

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