Friday, December 27, 2013

Perry's Disaster Proclamations, Obama's Reply

Governor Rick Perry of Texas has been doing his part for Texans amid natural disasters hitting the state. Drought has plagued much of Texas for over 30 months. Then, at the end of Oct '13, flash floods hit central Texas.

Perry issued a declaration of emergency for the droughts a few years back. Each month since, he has renewed the Emergency Disaster Proclamation for the over 100 affected counties. In late December, '13, he issued his latest:

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
I, RICK PERRY, Governor of the State of Texas, issued an Emergency Disaster Proclamation on July 5, 2011, certifying that exceptional drought conditions posed a threat of imminent disaster in specified counties in Texas.
WHEREAS, record high temperatures, preceded by significantly low rainfall, have resulted in declining reservoir and aquifer levels, threatening water supplies and delivery systems in many parts of the state; and
WHEREAS, prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire across many portions of the state; and
WHEREAS, these drought conditions have reached historic levels and continue to pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy; and
WHEREAS, this state of disaster includes the counties of Andrews, Archer, Armstrong, Bandera, Baylor, Bexar, Blanco, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burnet, Cameron, Carson, Castro, Childress, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Colorado, Concho, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, DeWitt, Dickens, Dimmit, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Frio, Gaines, Garza, Gillespie, Goliad, Gray, Hale, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hidalgo, Hockley, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Irion, Jack, Jim Hogg, Jones, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Knox, La Salle, Lamb, Lampasas, Llano, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Matagorda, McCulloch, McLennan, Medina, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Ochiltree, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Parker, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Real, Runnels, San Saba, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Swisher, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wharton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson, Yoakum, Young and Zavala.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby renew the disaster proclamation and direct that all necessary measures, both public and private as authorized under Section 418.017 of the code, be implemented to meet that threat.
As provided in Section 418.016 of the code, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the state of 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 20th day of December, 2013.
RICK PERRY
Governor of Texas
The flash floods over the Halloween weekend did little to impact the drought conditions. However, the floods damaged many homes and businesses, causing economic hardship to 7 Texas counties. Governor Perry issued a Emergency Disaster Proclamation for those 7 counties. He then requested Obama elevate the 3 hardest hit counties to a state of national disaster.

Obama has taken the dare and done just that. As of Friday Dec. 20, '13, Travis, Hays, and Caldwell Counties are declared in a state of national disaster. This opens those counties to increased federal relief funding in the way of grants and loans.

Previously, the Small Business Administration, one of the executive bureaucracies under the US Executive Branch, opened up for relief loans to the seven affected counties offering loans for damages and losses to small businesses, homesteads, and rental properties. With the President's proclamation, the SBA is expanding its loans and grants to 4 additional counties who were marginally affected by the flooding.

Here is Gov. Rick Perry's reaction to the news of Obama's official proclamation:

"The approval of this declaration is welcome news to the residents of Travis, Hays and Caldwell counties. This means that much-needed assistance is on its way to these communities, and Central Texans affected by the severe floods can begin rebuilding their lives."