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Governor sends letter requesting major disaster declaration for Hurricane Laura

Other elected officials follow with written requests as well

 From staff reports

 AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott, on Wednesday, sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a major disaster declaration for ten Texas counties to assist in recovery efforts following Hurricane Laura. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) previously granted the state’s request for a Federal Emergency Declaration ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall in Texas.

In his letter, the Governor specifically requested Individual Assistance for individuals and households, crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, disaster case management, disaster legal services, and Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance. The Governor also requested Public Assistance for Debris Removal (Category A), Emergency Protective Measures (Category B), Permanent Work (Categories C-G), and Direct Federal Assistance for the counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Sabine, and Shelby. The Governor also requested the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program statewide.

“Texans are resilient and will continue to meet the challenges brought by disasters head-on, but federal assistance is greatly needed in order to enable our communities to bounce back quickly,” reads the letter. “The state of Texas and these communities specifically are contributors and drivers of a strong American economy. Providing the assistance needed to allow these individuals and communities to swiftly and completely recover from Hurricane Laura will benefit the overall economic health of our country.”

On Friday, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote President Trump in support of Gov. Abbott’s request for a federal major disaster declaration following Hurricanes Laura and Hanna in Texas.

In the letter, they wrote:

“The Governor and local officials have informed us that the losses and property damage in these counties are of a magnitude that is beyond the response capabilities of the state and local government. Unfortunately, due to the magnitude of the hurricanes, the disruptions caused by COVID-19, and the fact that Texas continues to recover from multiple major disasters, federal assistance is necessary to help these counties recover.”

They also added:

It is our understanding that the State of Texas, through the Office of the Governor, has made two formal requests for major disaster declarations for Hurricanes Laura and Hanna. As you know, Governor Abbott declared a state disaster for Laura in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Sabine, and Shelby counties. Additionally, for Hanna, Governor Abbott declared a state disaster for Cameron, Hidalgo, Kleberg, Nueces, and Willacy counties. While the state continues to assess damages in other counties, Governor Abbott has requested Public Assistance Categories A through G be granted to all fifteen counties.

 U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote President Trump in support of Gov. Abbott’s request for a federal major disaster declaration following Hurricanes Laura and Hanna in Texas.

They wrote:

“The Governor and local officials have informed us that the losses and property damage in these counties are of a magnitude that is beyond the response capabilities of the state and local government. Unfortunately, due to the magnitude of the hurricanes, the disruptions caused by COVID-19, and the fact that Texas continues to recover from multiple major disasters, federal assistance is necessary to help these counties recover.”