President Barack Obama has granted Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s request for disaster funds for a state hit by devastating flooding. The Texas Governor requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Texas counties on Friday afternoon and the President granted the Governor’s request on Friday evening.
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said “I thank the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their prompt response to Texas’ urgent need for a federal disaster declaration.”
The Emergency Management Chief continued, “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 from FEMA 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 aids state or local governments in paying part of the costs of rebuilding a community’s damaged infrastructure. This assistance may include debris removal, emergency protective measures and public services, repair of damaged public property, or 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 for disaster relief once they meet the threshold required by the federal government to request federal disaster aid.
Breitbart Texas reported that days of heavy rains and intense thunderstorms have claimed lives in Texas. Historic devastation hit the Lone Star state during the Memorial Day holiday week.
Families have been swept away while vacating in homes along Texas rivers. A 25-30 feet wall of water ripped a home in Wimberley, Texas off of its foundation. Over 300 homes in the area have been swept away by the waters. An estimated 1,000 homes have been flooded in just one other county.
A dam burst in Bastrop State Park, spilling the entire contents of the small Bastrop State Park Lake across Highway 71 and the Colorado River, and other dam breaches threatened other areas of the state and forced voluntary evacuations.
Major flash flooding occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, in Houston, and in the Texas hill country.
Hail and tornadoes also hit the state. Two tornadoes hit Houston, and one-inch hail was reported on Memorial Day.
Governor Abbott has declared 70 counties in the state as a disaster area.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2