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Greg Abbott

Texas governor: 'Our top priority is to protect human life'

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Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott updated the nation on the ongoing efforts to assuage the damage invoked by Tropical Storm Harvey, according to our local affiliate WJLA.

With just one day since the hurricane settled over the Texas coastline, Harvey has since been credited for killing at least two people and injuring up to 14.

"Our top priority is to protect human life," Abbott said. "Our second is the rebuilding process.

"As storms begin to depart, we will be very aggressive in the rebuilding process. [It's] going to be a long process, but it's something we will be able to get done."

A TRIANGLE OF RAIN

Current storm conditions involve what the governor called "a triangle of ongoing rain" between the regions of Corpus Christie, Travis County and Chambers County.

"Parts of those regions will continue to receive incredibly heavy rain that will lead to more flooding and more danger for Texans," Abbott said.

Despite the wreckage in Houston, Abbott said Americans must remember the challenges mounting for people in other areas of Texas.

"It's important not to forget the challenges people in the counties nearby and surrounding Houston are facing," the governor said.

GET AS HIGH AS YOU CAN

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For Texans still battling the storm, Abbott advised them to stay off the roads and find high ground.

"We want to emphasize the importance when there is heavy rainfall, when there is flooding, the importance of staying off the roads," Abbott said. "If you drive into water, you are taking your life into your own hands.

"Always seek high ground. Get as high as you can. Try to avoid going outside."

In areas forecast to experience tornado action, Abbott told citizens to "constantly be watchful."

SUPPORT POURING IN

Governor Abbott expressed his thanks to the Texans and Americans lending a hand in the crisis.

"I'd like to extend my gratitude to other Americans pouring in support from other states," Abbott said.

The Texas government has been provided required support from the federal government," Abbott said.

"The federal government has so quickly responded to provide all of the aid Texas has needed," Abbott said. "That helps us respond much more robustly."

The National and State Guards have activated 3,000 service members, Abbott said. Those members are manning 500 vehicles, 6 shelters, and 14 aircraft.

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The Texas Department of Transportation has deployed 400 people to remove debris, repair signs, and complete other "early stages of the rebuilding process," Abbott said.

400 emergency responders of the Texas emergency management Task Force one and two are engaged in search and rescue missions, Abbott said.

100 game wardens are working on water rescues, and 1,750 Department of Public Safety officers are also engaged -- 500 of whom are assigned to Houston.

600 boats are being used, Abbott said.

CALL THE RED CROSS

Abbott urged those who have not done so already to either visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to provide assistance to those impacted by Harvey.

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