JACKSBORO, Texas (Nexstar) — Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Tuesday for both Williamson and Bastrop counties following a series of tornadoes Monday. They’re two of a 16-county group who received the designation while Abbott was in Jacksboro.

The declaration includes the following counties:

  • Bastrop
  • Cass
  • Cooke
  • Grayson
  • Guadalupe
  • Houston
  • Jack
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Montague
  • Nacogdoches
  • Panola
  • Rusk
  • Upshur
  • Williamson
  • Wise

Abbott said the declaration will “provide the capability of waiving certain rules or regulations or accelerating certain timetables to assist local communities.”

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell told KXAN News Today on Tuesday morning that Abbott “called me within five minutes” after KXAN aired a tornado touching down in Round Rock and assured him the state would step in and help.

Abbott signed the declaration in Jack County on Tuesday afternoon. Jacksboro suffered severe damage in the area, including an elementary school and several houses with their roofs ripped off.

“This disaster declaration will help Jack County but also help counties across the entire state of Texas more rapidly respond to and recover from this horrific disaster that struck the community,” Abbott said. “It is horrific, but it is being handled so incredibly professionally by the leaders of this community.”

The office of Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said he also issued a disaster declaration effective Tuesday morning after 65 homes were damaged or destroyed from a tornado there. The tornado passed south and east of the city of Elgin.

Bastrop County said 32 power poles for Bluebonnet Electric were damaged, and there was at least one non-life-threatening injury. County officials are asking the public to secure their property if they’re in the impacted areas. If you don’t live in Elgin, they’re asking you to stay away so first responders can work.

Aftermath in Williamson and Bastrop counties