Abbott seeks federal relief from floods

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked President Donald Trump to approve a presidential disaster declaration for Burnet and Llano counties in the wake of flooding and severe weather which devastated the Highland Lakes last month.

“The magnitude of recent severe weather and flooding has taken a serious toll on Texans across the state. With such widespread flooding and devastation, additional resources are needed to help Texans recover,” Abbott wrote in an Oct. 30 letter to President Trump.

In accordance with Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Abbott requested Individual Assistance (IA), Other Needs Assistance (ONA), Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Assistance, and Disaster Case Management — as well as Public Assistance Categories A through G including Direct Federal Assistance — for both Burnet and Llano counties.

Abbott said he has determined “this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.”

Abbott noted the Oct. 16 flooding was the ninth major disaster to strike the state in the past three years and also pointed out that the area was ravaged by aggressive wildfires earlier in the year.

“Texans within the listed counties, first responders across the state, and local officials and volunteer organizations are overwhelmed and exhausted. The last year has taken a serious toll on the people and property of this state,” Abbott wrote.

“Texans are resilient, but few can recover without assistance when multiple disasters hit. For example, there are areas where people were still recovering from Hurricane Harvey when severe weather struck them again. We will overcome these challenges, but assistance is needed from the federal government.”

Abbott expanded his own state disaster declaration to cover 111 Texas counties and has authorized use of all available state resources to aid in response efforts to the disaster.

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