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Published on May 20, 2024
Gov. Abbott Advocates for Expanded Federal Disaster Aid to 8 More Texas Counties Amid Severe StormsSource: Office of the Texas Governor

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has stepped up efforts to more fully support the Lone Star State in the wake of destructive weather events. On Tuesday, Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to formally request the addition of eight more counties for disaster assistance, as severe storms continue to wreak havoc. "The severe storms that swept across the state caused damage of such severity and magnitude that I am requesting eight additional counties be added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration," Abbott was quoted as saying in a statement.

The latest directive follows a string of actions by the Governor, all aimed to quickly aid affected communities. Since the onslaught of the storms beginning on April 26, Abbott has issued multiple disaster declarations and mobilized emergency response resources. Notably, this included ramping up the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center, a move intended to help local officials manage the disaster more effectively.

The additional counties now in the crosshairs for federal help include Calhoun, Eastland, Guadalupe, Hardin, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, and Waller. They join seven others previously recognized in President Biden's partial approval of Abbott's earlier disaster declaration request. This added sanction unlocked the possibility for impacted Texans in these areas to apply for grants focusing on repair and recovery expenses.

Abbott's relentless response has been matched by the operational prowess of Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, who, under gubernatorial guidance, has requested Harris County be made eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance program. Kidd emphasizes the importance of ongoing assessments to determine the breadth and depth of community impacts, hinting at further requests for aid as they continue to grasp the full extent of storm damage.

Among the priorities laid out by the state's response is the availability of FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources and the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program for physical and economic loss. The expectation is that the effective provision of these programs will help in the steadfast recovery that Texans are known for, restoring communities and infrastructure ravaged by the untamed weather.

Austin-Weather & Environment