Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that about 1,200 Nation Guard troops and a 160-person search-and-rescue team were dispatched to South Texas before Hurricane Dolly came ashore Wednesday.
"These hurricanes can be highly unpredictable," Perry said during a Capitol news conference. "We prepare for the worst and pray for the best."
Dolly slammed the coast with winds topping 100 mph, knocking out power and closing the causeway between South Padre Island and the mainland.
Dolly came ashore at South Padre as a Category 2 storm, but her winds dropped below 100 mphs about two hours later.
Perry had already issued a disaster proclamation for more than a dozen counties expected to be in the storm's path, making them eligible for state aid.
He also asked President Bush to come forward with federal assistance to help with the post-storm recovery effort.
Private charities and businesses have already been contacted to ensure that enough fuel, food, water and ice would be available in the region, Perry said.
"Help is on the way, if it's not already there in [South Texans'] neighborhoods," he said.
Ready to respond
Texas military forces: 1,200 national guardsmen, an incident management team and six helicopters have been activated and positioned throughout South Texas.
Texas Engineering and Extension Service: 160 personnel including Texas Task Force 1, water rescue teams, and helicopter rescue specialists have been deployed. Texas Task Force 2 has been alerted and remains on standby in Dallas.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice: Officials see no need to evacuate prison units in the region.
Texas Department of Transportation: Crews are monitoring road and bridge conditions to determine if they are safe for travel. The Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge and Park Road 100 north of South Padre Island Convention Center in Cameron County are closed.
Source: Texas governor's office