Hurricane Hanna hit Texas over the weekend causing serious devastation. New video of the damage shows a number of houses standing in several feet of floodwater.
Fortunately, Texas saw no casualties in the storm. However, a Mexican newspaper reports a 7-year-old girl and her mother died after being swept away by the current, according to NPR.
Some areas in southwest Texas saw 15 inches of rain. The deluge caused extensive flooding and beach erosion.
Hanna was the first hurricane of the season before being downgraded to a tropical depression. The storm hit the southwestern part of the state on Saturday. Around 200,000 locations lost power in the storm.
On Monday morning, AEP Texas reports 60,000 outages remaining. The utility says restoring power presents challenges due to severe flooding in some areas restricting access to substations.
Nickea Bradley, Houston’s deputy director for emergency management, says Hanna tested the state’s disaster response abilities. However, the city hopes to learn from the situation. “We’ll be looking for lessons learned even from yesterday’s storm — what went well, what didn’t go well, how were other jurisdictions helping to jump in response?” Bradley said.
Bradley continued by saying how the coronavirus pandemic makes disaster response even more difficult. “The coronavirus has changed a lot in how we practice, prepare everything,” Bradley said. “Our first responders are out every day wearing their masks, keeping their PPE close. Checks are happening as we all report to work daily. So it’s changed a lot.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Hurricane Hanna
On Saturday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested emergency assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and President Donald Trump. Shortly thereafter, both FEMA and President Trump granted an emergency declaration request.
“I thank President Trump and our partners at FEMA for their quick response in granting this Federal Emergency Declaration,” Abbott said. Furthermore, Abbott said, “We will continue to work with our federal and local partners as we assess the damage from Hurricane Hanna and may seek additional federal assistance as we continue to respond, recover, and rebuild our communities.
In conclusion, Gov. Abbott asked Texans to continue following health protocols. I continue to urge Texans to heed the guidance from their local leaders and follow best practices to keep themselves and their loved ones safe as severe weather continues to move through our communities.”