Gov. Greg Abbot issued a disaster declaration for Montgomery and 30 other Texas counties June 1.
Montgomery County has received more than 5-16 inches of rain since May 26 and more than 600 reports of damaged homes and businesses, according to county officials. Rainfall also caused the San Jacinto River Authority to close Lake Conroe for the second time this year on May 27-30.
The county is forecast to receive between 4-6 inches or rain over the next couple of days, including as much as 8 inches on June 3. The National Weather Service has declared a flash flood warning through June 4 for the southeast Texas region and cautions residents to be aware of possible flooding and thunderstorms that produce high winds, NWS Meteorologist Debra Helvy said.
Local officials are now encouraging the federal government to make its own disaster declaration to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond to requests for aid. If declared, this would be the second time Montgomery County receives a disaster declaration since the “tax day floods” between April 17-24, officials said.
"We are in contact with our federal officials to urge a speedy response," Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal said in a statement. "Sen. John Cornyn just recently called us and told us he would work to help us get the declaration."
Montgomery County Community Assistance Recovery Efforts and Services, a collaborative effort by local nonprofit agencies, is organizing volunteers to provide community assistance.
“At this time the effort is more on immediate relief in terms of [providing] shelters, food assistance and basic needs assistance,” said Mary Vazquez, United Way of Greater Houston director of community impact. “The immediate relief is what is happening at this time because the flooding is still happening. After the flooding subsides we will work with MCCARES on long term recovery planning.”
MCCARES has established five donation and distribution hubs throughout the county, including the Crisis Assistance Center, Interfaith of The Woodlands and Mission Northeast. The most needed items include baby food, baby formula, diapers, new undergarments, hygiene products, water, squeeze pouch fruit and vegetables, easy open canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and convenience meals, granola bars, toilet paper, paper towels, mops, brooms, garbage bags, bottled water and monetary donations.
The Montgomery County Food Bank is also accepting goods, personal-care item and toiletry donations. The MCFB and The Woodlands Rotary Club will host a food fair June 4 between 9 a.m.-noon at Woodforest Stadium, 19115 David Memorial Drive, Shenandoah, officials said.
Residents who experience residential or commercial damages should fill out a damage assessment survey with the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, officials said. The surveys help local officials justify need for a disaster declaration from the federal government and can be filled out online.
To fill out the damage assessment survey, visit www.mctxoem.org. For more information about local recovery assistance or to donate, visit www.mcuw.org/united-way-storm-recovery. Residents can also call the United Way of Greater Houston helpline by dialing 2-1-1, or 713-957-4357.