Texas governor plans to activate 24,000 National Guard members

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday the state has maxed out its number of state National Guard members in service of hurricane recovery efforts, and will seek additional service members outside the state.

"I last announced that we had 12,000 National Guard members activated, that number has been increased to 14,000," Abbott said at a news conference in Austin. He said Texas has since activated some Guard members who were deployed overseas or were dealing with flooding on their own property.

"Bottom line, we are now up to our highest level of Texas National Guard members who are deployed to help our fellow Texans deal with these challenges," he continued.

He said Texas will now seek to activate at least 10,000 additional Guard members from other states.


"We are also, as we speak, coordinating with the National Guard to deploy an additional 10,000 National Guard who were being deployed here from other states. So that will take us up to approximately 24,000 National Guard who will be deployed here in the state of Texas," the governor said. 

The governor said Guard members would be sent to southeast Texas to deal with emergency conditions, including Harris County, home to Houston, as well as the coastal bend region. 

Abbott said the state is also receiving 200 boats and 200 vehicles from the Department of Defense. 

The governor's comments come as Texas continues to deal with catastrophic flooding from the storm Harvey, which has claimed the lives of at least 30 people since making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, according to The New York Times.

An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes were destroyed in the storm.

Parts of Houston, which is the state's largest city, have received over 50 inches of rain, according to the Times. 

The storm is now dumping rain over southern Louisiana, which could receive upwards of 20 inches, according to the report.