In a May 6 press conference in Conroe, Gov. Greg Abbott and Montgomery County officials provided an update on water rescues and recovery efforts following severe weather and widespread flooding in the North Houston area.

What you need to know

Abbott said 91 Texas counties were affected by the storms, which moved across Southeast Texas May 2-4, and those counties are part of the statewide disaster declaration issued on May 3. The storms resulted in over 500 water rescues by local agencies and another 124 water rescues by state agencies, Abbott said.

"There's well over 500 people who have been rescued through the operations at local levels, and we cannot thank the local emergency responders enough for their professionalism and for their extraordinary efforts they went to," Abbott said.

According to preliminary assessments, 800 homes are classified as majorly damaged; however, that number is expected to rise as water levels continue to recede and officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency begin making assessments on May 7.

The outlook

Abbott and Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said residents should continue to stay alert as a number of rivers, including the Trinity and San Jacinto rivers, were still at flood stage on May 6. Nim Kidd, director of the Texas Department of Emergency Management, said a number of state and local roads have been compromised due to flood damage, and they are not safe to drive on even with the water no longer covering the roadway.

"Do not move a barricade to drive around; it gets placed there for a reason. It was not forgotten," Kidd said. "It's there because somewhere down that road, either there's water over the road, or the road may look dry and is unstable and not safe to drive."

Next steps

Home and commercial property owners are also encouraged to fill out damage assessments to TDEM and to their flood insurance companies in order to expedite the process for a federal disaster declaration.

"We will go house by house into these communities and do those damage assessments, but we can't file this on the individual's benefits," Keough said. "They have to do it themselves."

Kidd said for individual FEMA assistance, a county must have a minimum of 800 homes that were uninsured and had major damage as a result of the flooding. For commercial and publicly owned properties, a county must demonstrated a minimum of $54 million in damages to qualify for assistance.