Entire Texas National Guard Activated In Response To Harvey - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Entire Texas National Guard Activated In Response To Harvey

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Texas National Guard soldiers arrive to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug., 27, 2017. (Texas Military Department via EPA) Texas National Guard soldiers arrive to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug., 27, 2017. (Texas Military Department via EPA)
HOUSTON -

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has activated the state's entire National Guard in response to Hurricane Harvey, the governor's office announced Monday.

That will raise the total number of guardsmen who are deployed to around 12,000. They will help with search, rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm, the governor's office said.

"It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm," Abbott said in a news release Monday, adding that the state's National Guard is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"While this is still a dangerous situation with a long response effort ahead, the state and people of Texas are resilient," FEMA Administrator Brock Long said in the release. "FEMA was here before the storm hit, and we will be here as long as needed, actively coordinating the full resources of the federal government, to support Gov. Abbott and the state."

Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night. With blustering 130 mph winds, it left hundreds of thousands of residents without power and houses with roofs blown off. The National Hurricane Center said early Sunday that Harvey, which became a tropical storm by Saturday afternoon, was causing "catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas."

On Monday, Houston -- the nation's fourth-largest city -- was still largely paralyzed, and there was no relief in sight from the storm. With nearly 2 feet of rain still expected, authorities worried whether the worst was yet to come.

Water gushed from two reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey as officials sought to release pressure on two dams that were at risk of failing from the immense floodwaters that have filled the city. The move aimed at protecting the downtown business district risked flooding thousands more homes.

Meanwhile, authorities continued plucking people from the floodwaters -- at least 2,000 so far, according to Police Chief Art Acevedo. At least 185 critical rescue requests were still pending on Monday morning. The goal is to rescue those people by the end of the day, Acevedo said.

With rain falling unabated, he said there was nowhere left for the water to drain. 

In an interview with "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Abbott applauded the efforts of the Trump administration as state officials prepared for the worst.

"We're very appreciative of our fellow states as well as what the federal government has done," he said. "I gotta tell you the Trump administration has provided us everything that we need."

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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