In response to the looming threat posed by Tropical Storm Alberto, Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for over 50 counties across Texas.

The declaration, published June 19, highlights the severe risk of widespread flooding, storm surges, extreme winds, and heavy rainfall that may accompany the upcoming tropical storm currently pushing its way through Mexico.

The counties listed in Abbott’s declaration are primarily in the south and along the Gulf Coast, including Aransas, Galveston, Brazoria, Hidalgo, and Zavala counties. Several major urban areas, such as those in Harris and Bexar counties, are expected to be affected.

Abbott’s declaration aims to mobilize the state’s resources ahead of what is expected to be a time of need. It further empowers state agencies and local authorities to coordinate relief efforts effectively and deploy resources to the areas that will be hit hardest by the upcoming storm.

The governor has also suspended certain regulatory statutes that could potentially impede emergency response efforts, according to the declaration.

As preparations intensify across the state, emergency management officials are urging residents in the affected areas to take precautions and abide by any local evacuation orders if issued.

Although Alberto is currently reported to have weakened into a depression since making landfall in Mexico, Texas communities are still bracing for potential power outages, transportation disruptions, and various hazardous conditions that could persist well after the storm’s passage.

In Galveston, streets have already been hit by days of intermittent flooding. Surfside saw downed power lines that left many without electricity due to considerable storm surges of several feet.

Alberto is the first storm to be named this Atlantic hurricane season, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted would see above-average activity, meaning there may be as many as 25 named storms and 13 hurricanes, up to seven of which could be major.

The Lone Star State has seen its fair share of severe weather lately. A series of severe storms and tornados struck just a few weeks, causing considerable disruptions. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, when severe weather rolled into the Dallas-Fort Worth area in late May, there were widespread power outages that affected over 600,000 residents.