AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state disaster for three counties recently affected by severe weather and flooding.

Abbott on Friday issued the disaster declaration for Ellis, Sutton and Tarrant counties, where he says severe weather and flooding that began on Sept. 21 has caused widespread and severe property damage.

Abbott’s disaster declaration says that any regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conduct of state business or any state agency rule that would prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the disaster in the counties shall be suspended upon his office’s written approval.

The declaration also suspends any contracting or procurement statutes and rules that would impede any agency’s emergency response to protect life or property threatened by the disaster in the counties.

Heavy rain and flash flooding caused major issues for cities such as Everman where homes and vehicles suffered damage, displacing some residents as they waited to dry out. In Arlington, a University of Texas at Arlington student died after being swept away by flooding at a creek on campus.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)