SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – As Governor Greg Abbott surveyed the damage from Hurricane Laura in Southeast Texas Thursday, he heard a recurring phrase.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Abbott. “It could have been a lot worse.”
While forecasters were predicting a 10-foot storm surge in Southeast Texas, it was actually 3 feet. While breathing a sigh of relief, the governor expressed concern for our neighbors across the border in Louisiana who got the brunt of the category 4 storm.
Abbott says the worst damage he saw in Texas was in Orange County.
“We saw more rooftops ripped off. We saw more shingles missing,” said Abbott.”You saw big pieces of steel framing wrapped around some trees.”
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Abbott said he had one report of an unconfirmed death related to Hurricane Laura in Sabine County. He said if we make it through a Category 4 hurricane with minimal loss of life, “that is a miracle. It shows that prayers were answered.”
Abbot added that preparation paid off, and he’s grateful that residents heeded the advice of local officials to evacuate well ahead of Hurricane Laura. Bexar County and four other counties are providing hotel rooms for 8,500 evacuees.
He warns that the danger is not over. They’re watching for flooding and possible tornadoes as the storm moves out of the area.
Senator Ted Cruz said Texas has plenty of experience dealing with natural disasters.
“This was not our first rodeo,” noted Cruz.
He thanked mayors and county judges for coming together and working with the state and federal governments to get through the storm and he assured those affected by the hurricane that there will be resources and support, not only from government agencies, but from the community.
“Everytime we face a disaster or even a disaster averted, I’m inspired to see how Texans step up and help their neighbors,” said Cruz.
The governor said evacuation orders helped save lives, and he’s urging those who are taking shelter in other parts of Texas to wait for local officials to give the okay to return home. He said there are thousands of power outages and some roads remain impassable.