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President Declares Major Disaster For Texas  

Release Date: June 9, 2001
Release Number: 1379-01

» More Information on Texas Severe Storms & Flooding

Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has declared a major disaster for Texas, opening the way for the use of federal funds and resources to help meet the recovery needs of people and communities victimized by the effects of Tropical Storm Allison.

FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the President took the action immediately after receiving the state's expedited request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from the storm that began affecting the state on June 5.

After the declaration, Allbaugh designated the following 28 counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners: Anderson, Angelina, Brazoria, Cherokee, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.

The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Allbaugh said federal funds also will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges and utilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.

In addition, Allbaugh said federal personnel and resources are being supplied to help meet immediate emergency needs, including current requirements for medical assistance and search and rescue operations. He added that emergency operation centers at FEMA's national and Texas regional offices were activated earlier today to coordinate the delivery of emergency equipment, materials and supplies as requested by the state.

Allbaugh indicated that additional counties may be designated for aid later based on the results of ongoing damage assessments. He named Scott Wells of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.

Wells said that stricken residents and business owners in the designated counties will be able to apply for assistance through a toll-free telephone service that will be announced shortly in the affected areas.

Last Modified: Monday, 20-Oct-2003 14:30:21