AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Fifteen Texas counties have been declared state disaster areas after October storms and flooding left seven people dead.

Gov. Greg Abbott's disaster declaration covers Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro (nuh-VAH'-roh), Travis, Willacy, and Wilson counties.

The declaration, which clears the way for more government assistance, applies to damage from storms Oct. 22 through Oct. 31. The late-October heavy rain and flooding was blamed for seven deaths in the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas.

The Austin area received more than 16 inches of rain during storms that began Oct. 30.

Texas is also seeking federal assistance for individuals in affected counties.