AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a pre-landfall emergency declaration for 19 South Texas counties that allows the state to pursue federal assistance for debris removal and actions taken to prepare for Tropical Storm Alex. The governor has already issued a state disaster proclamation for these counties, which allows the state to initiate necessary preparedness efforts, such as pre-deploying resources to ensure local communities are ready to respond to disasters.

“As Texas continues to monitor this storm and prepare for its impact on our coast, I urge residents living in areas in Tropical Storm Alex’s projected path to take the necessary measures to protect life and property,” Gov. Perry said. “We will continue to work with local officials as this storm makes its way toward our communities.”

Texas remains in the projected path of Tropical Storm Alex, which is expected to make landfall south of Brownsville Wednesday evening. The National Weather Service is predicting that this storm will strengthen to a Category One Hurricane by Tuesday evening.

The following state resources are activated:

Texas Military Forces: Up to 2,500 guardsmen, eight UH-60 helicopters and three C-130 aircraft are prepared for rapid deployment as needed.

Texas Engineering Extension Service: Texas Task Force 1 and Texas Task Force 2 have been activated and were prepositioned in Weslaco and Kingsville on Tuesday to provide search and rescue capabilities as needed.

Texas Forest Service (TFS): TFS is coordinating the activation and deployment of a Type III Incident Management Team to support disaster operations and the DPS McAllen Regional Headquarters.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS): DPS is activating the disaster district committee in McAllen to support potential emergency response for resource coordination. Regional liaison officers are being deployed to support field operations.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD): 50 TPWD Game Wardens, 17 airboats, 33 shallow draft boats and other resources will be stationed in Mercedes. TPW has closed the following state parks: Resaca de la Palma in Brownsville, Estero Llano Grande in Weslaco and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley in Mission.

Texas Department of Transportation: Dynamic message signs are being used to urge residents along the coast to fuel up their vehicles.

The Alamo Regional Command Center has been activated, 50 buses have been deployed on standby to McAllen and 50 buses are on standby in San Antonio should they be needed to assist in a potential evacuation. Additionally, the Health and Human Services Commission is preparing to provide support for mass care operations as needed, and the Department of State Health Services is preparing to assist with medical special needs sheltering as needed.

The State Fuel Team has notified refineries and distributors in the area of a possible increase in demand for fuel as a result of the storm, and the Rapid Response Task Force — Austin has been mobilized. Additionally, the state is working with volunteer organizations and private sector partners to coordinate efforts for potential evacuations and sheltering operations should these capabilities be required.

The State Operations Center and Emergency Management Council are fully activated, and are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Alex and holding daily conference calls with federal, state and local officials, private industry partners, volunteer organizations, and the National Weather Service.

For more information on preparing for hurricanes please visit

http://governor.state.tx.us/hurricane/.

To view the governor’s letter to President Obama, please visit

http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-ObamaBarack20100629.pdf.

To view the governor’s proclamation, please visit

http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/14811/.