Saturday, May 30, 2015

President Obama signs disaster declaration for Texas as storm's toll mounts

Governor Greg Abbott requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Texas counties due to damage sustained from the severe weather, tornadoes and flooding. President Obama granted the request for funds that will aid Texas counties as they continue to recover and rebuild.

“I thank the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their prompt response to Texas’ urgent need for a federal disaster declaration,” said Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd. “We have seen so many lives lost, homes damaged or destroyed, and communities threatened by this devastating storm system. Texas is grateful for the swift response by FEMA and I look forward to working with my FEMA partners to ensure critical assistance is delivered to Texans in need.”

Governor Abbott requested Individual Assistance for Harris, Hays and Van Zandt counties. Individual Assistance provides affected residents and businesses access to Disaster Housing, Disaster Grants, Low-Interest Disaster Loans, and other disaster aid programs including crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, legal aid and assistance with income tax, Social Security and Veteran's benefits.

Governor Abbott requested Public Assistance for Cooke, Gaines, Grimes, Harris, Hays, Navarro and Van Zandt counties. Public Assistance is aid to state or local governments to pay part of the costs of rebuilding a community's damaged infrastructure, which may include debris removal, emergency protective measures and public services, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools. Generally, public assistance programs pay for 75 percent of the approved project costs.

Additional counties may be added to the Governor’s request once they meet the threshold required by the federal government to request federal disaster aid.

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