Austin/ Weather & Environment
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 19, 2024
Biden Greenlights Major Disaster Declaration for Texas, Opens FEMA Funds to Storm-Ravaged CountiesSource: Unsplash / Chris Gallagher

President Joe Biden has sanctioned a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas counties battered by heavy rainfall and flooding, Governor Greg Abbott announced. While it's not the full approval the governor had requested, it is a move that lends a hand to the Lone Star State as it begins the arduous journey of rebuilding.

Getting straight down to brass tacks, Abbott declared, "The partial approval of my Presidential Disaster Declaration request is a crucial step in the right direction in helping Texans rebuild and recover from recent severe weather events." Abbott's gratitude toward President Biden was evident, aiming to assuage the dire circumstances faced by many Texans post-storm.

Emerging from the tempest's wrath, qualifying residents can now tap into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds. These are designed to cushion the blow for expenses such as temporary housing, repair works, and a slew of personal losses that insurance policies left behind. Specifically, the affected counties counting Harris, Liberty, and Montgomery among them, will find this approval to be a beacon of hope.

The President's nod also unfetters FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources statewide and opens the door for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for both physical and economic loss in the approved counties. Still hung out to dry, however, is Governor Abbott's request for FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which is pivotal in extending a financial lifesaver to 26 counties still awaiting their fate.

Abbott is not one to sit on his laurels, having taken measures such as ramping up state emergency response resources on the cusp of severe weather and wildfires, issuing a disaster declaration, and issuing repeated amendments to ensure a robust response to the burgeoning crisis. In the scramble to rectify, the Governor directed TDEM to work towards including additional counties in the federal declaration, to ensure no stone is left unturned.

Details of Abbott's concerted efforts to fortify Texan resilience against the storm's repercussions were outlined in a recent press release, underscoring a proactive stance in the face of natural calamities.

Austin-Weather & Environment