Monday, December 16, 2013

Perry Proclaims Disaster, Request President Do Same

Governor Rick Perry officially proclaimed the flooding in central Texas on Oct 30 - Nov 1 as a state disaster. He has challenged President Obama to bump the declaration to a federal level.

From Oct 30-Nov 1 2013, despite continuing drought conditions, flash floods hit several counties in central Texas. The floods affected many farms, ranches, homes, and small businesses. Seven counties were hit hard by the flooding.

The US Small Business Administration went so far as to respond positively to urgings and requests from the Perry Administration. The SBA was authorized to start giving low-interest loans to property owners and businesses for repairs and recovery of equipment lost due to the flash floods.

But this may not be enough to give citizens a leg-up towards recovering what was lost.

On Thursday, Perry issued the following proclamation declaring the state-level disaster:


I, RICK PERRY, Governor of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that severe flooding, which occurred on October 30, 2013, and continued through November 16, 2013, caused a disaster in Bell, Caldwell, Freestone, Guadalupe, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties in the State of Texas.

THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby declare a state of disaster in the counties listed above based on the existence of such disaster and direct that all necessary measures, both public and private as authorized under Section 418.017 of the code, be implemented to meet that disaster.

As provided in Section 418.016 of the code, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this disaster are suspended for the duration of the disaster.
In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 12th day of December, 2013.

Governor of Texas


State of National Disaster Request

The governor called on Obama to issue a state of national disaster for the three counties hit hardest by the flooding. If the request is granted, it will qualify residents and businesses in those three counties for increased federal disaster relief grants and loans beyond those offered by the SBA.

Of  the request, Gov. Perry stated:

"The severe flood damage in Central Texas has affected the lives of many people and left a devastating financial burden on our local communities. I urge President Obama to grant this assistance so Texans can continue their recovery and rebuild their homes, businesses and communities.

"Specific requests include:

• Individual assistance, including the Individual and Households Program, Other Needs Assistance, disaster unemployment assistance, disaster legal assistance, disaster case management and crisis counseling.
• Public assistance (all categories); and
• Hazard Mitigation statewide."
As enumerated, these extend well beyond the confines of grants and low-interest loans from the SBA. Governors in other more conservative states met with resistance in national disaster proclamation requests. Such requests in Cochise County, AZ after the Monument Fire tore through national forest and  the Coronado National Monument. Those fires and the fight to contain them destroyed aquifer and irrigation pipes that supplied water to Tombstone, AZ, a well recognized historical site and tourist attraction. The requests for that declaration and coinciding associated disputes kept repairs from being made to the water supply system. Residents were forbidden from using any time-saving power equipment, being told by federal authorities that only hand tools and beasts of burden would be allowed.