Governor declares Cameron County disaster area

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Monday afternoon for 16 Texas counties affected by severe weather, including Cameron County.

With residents awakened Monday morning to fallen power lines across Padre Boulevard, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. issued a disaster declaration early in the day, asking Abbott for help in proclaiming the county a disaster area in order to receive further help.

“The losses are of a magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capability of the county,” Treviño wrote in the letter to the governor. “Therefore, outside assistance is needed to alleviate the hardship caused by this weather event.”

Abbott’s declaration makes state resources available to local officials, plus waives certain regulations to allow utilities to bring in out-of-state resources.

According to a press release issued by Treviño, diligent efforts are in effect to remove debris and restore electricity. Drivers and pedestrians are being redirected to use Laguna and Gulf Boulevards to avoid the affected area.

“We are asking residents to please stay away from the area of Padre Blvd within South Padre Island, to protect your own safety and allow first responders and recovery crews do their jobs as quickly and safely as possible,” Treviño stated in the release.

“Downed power lines are dangerous and are risk to public health and safety,” he stated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.