In accordance with Governor Greg Abbot’s disaster proclamation, Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell and Texarkana, Texas Mayor Bob Bruggeman issued a disaster proclamation today, August 26, 2020, declaring a local state of disaster for Bowie County and the City of Texarkana, Texas certifying that Hurricane Laura poses a threat of imminent disaster including widespread and severe property damage, injury, and loss of life due to widespread flooding and damaging winds.

Residents are urged to prepare for large amounts of rainfall, potential flooding, and possible power outages. The following messages should be taken into consideration during storm preparation:

  • Turn around; Don't drown. We could see significant rainfall which will result in flooding in our region, so if you encounter a flooded roadway please do not enter the water. Turn your vehicle around and avoid the water.
  • 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. If you have non-emergency questions or need more information, call (903) 798-3876 or (903) 255-5560.
  • Avoid downed lines. Downed power lines are dangerous. Never touch them. For safety’s sake, always assume that a fallen power line is live, and call 9-1-1 immediately to report a fallen power line. Don't drive over it, touch it with an object, or approach it.
  • Register now for CODE RED, the emergency notification system, by visiting or calling 903-798-3181.


Create an emergency outage kit. Be prepared should the power go out. Assemble an emergency outage kit that includes the following items, at a minimum:

    • Flashlights and fresh batteries
    • Battery-powered radios or televisions
    • Candles, matches, or lighters
    • Water for drinking and cooking
    • Camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns)
    • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
    • Manufacturers' instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door, generator
    • Important medicines you need to take. Better to locate them while the power is still on than fumbling around in the dark should the power go out.

Stay alert and prepare for power outages.

    • Customers who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements in preparation for potential power outages.
    • If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators can "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
    • Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage SWEPCO outage or 1-877-707-2232 to report a Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative power outage.

Local school closures include Texas A&M- University- Texarkana, Texarkana College, and University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. Please refer to each school’s website for individual instruction plans.  For a complete list of closures and delays, refer to local media outlets.

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