- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in nearly 20 counties hit by severe rain and flooding.

In a statement issued Monday, Abbott said the state is assisting with evacuations in three East Texas counties and stands ready to assist in swift water rescues.

Heavy rains last week forced the evacuation of hundreds of people in East Texas, as floodwaters rose in several Gulf Coast states.

His declaration covers the following counties: Angelina, Erath, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler

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