Rising Waters 2015: Governor Assesses Flood Damage - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Rising Waters 2015: Governor Assesses Flood Damage

Governor Greg Abbott was in Wichita Falls on Monday morning to take a look at the flood damage. 

“Even though we have been to the point we are now, the challenges are not over yet,” Governor Abbott said.

During his time in the city, Abbott declared a State of Disaster for 24 counties, including Wichita County and Archer County.  While he was happy to be in his home town, it was difficult to see the devastation.

“Save your life,” he said, “Evacuate.  Don't put yourself in danger.”

The biggest positive was that no lives were lost.  As Governor Abbott said, life is more important that property and the property can be rebuilt.  He explained the state of Texas will help with the rebuilding process as much as it can.

“With the Governor's declaration, it will open up certain Federal resources that are given to state agencies, agricultural grants, housing grants,” Chief Nim Kidd, Division of Emergency Management said.

Kidd explained it could take days or weeks before that happens, since they have to go through a grant application process.  Many questioned if there would be enough resources, since the whole state of Texas is being affected, but Governor Abbott said they are adequately prepared for it.

On Monday, it was evident the water levels were decreasing, but Wichita County and Wichita Falls officials are not letting their guard down.  Especially since there are rain chances in the forecast.

“We feel pretty confident that it will be enough time to get the river levels down where it will hold, but we'll just have to watch it,” Wichita Falls Fire Chief Jon Reese said.

He explained they will be lowering the amount of people at the Emergency Operations Center, but everyone is on standby just in case.

“We were being very proactive and when it comes to citizens safety, that's the number one thing,” Chief Reese said.

On Monday there were still areas that residents could not access with their car because of flooded roadways.  However, they are still allowed to return home if they have not done it already.

Officials said it could take a few days before the water levels go back to normal, but it all depends on the weather.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6     
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