Governor Abbott Provides Update On Texas’ Severe Weather, Tornado Response Efforts In Valley View
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Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on the state's ongoing response to help Texans and North Texas communities devastated by severe weather and tornadoes at a press conference following a briefing with state and local officials in Valley View. Governor Abbott also signed the state's severe weather disaster declaration to add Denton, Montague, Cooke, and Collin counties, bringing the total number of counties under the disaster declaration to 106.

"Texans across the state are saddened by the tragic loss of seven lives due to severe storms in North Texas," said Governor Abbott. "We estimate that there are close to 100 people injured, more than 200 homes or structures destroyed, and more than 220 buildings damaged. As further assessments are made, those numbers may increase. It has been a harrowing week with lives lost, property reduced to rubble, and crushed hopes and dreams of those that owned homes or small businesses, but in true Texas fashion, Texans are responding to this great tragedy with love, care, and generosity. We have seen heroism from first responders, volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, and those that may never be known. Amidst the wreckage surrounding us here today, I am moved by the sight of the American flag that remains flapping in the wind. I am proud of our country and our state for coming together during difficult times like these. The State of Texas will remain engaged and involved with impacted communities to ensure they can rebuild and recover."

During the press conference, Governor Abbott encouraged Texans across the state to pray for the safety and swift recovery of communities in North Texas. The Governor also gave a brief overview of the work state agencies are doing to help the region recover, including conducting final search and rescue missions; providing aid, support, and supplies for people who need immediate assistance; assisting with debris removal; and working with local and federal partners to provide funding to impacted Texans. Additionally, Governor Abbott urged Texans whose homes or buildings have been damaged to contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to see if they have coverage and report damages at damage.tdem.texas.gov. These self-submitted surveys help officials connect affected Texans with recovery resources and assist with determining eligibility for federal disaster assistance.

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The Governor was joined at the press conference by Congressman Michael C. Burgess, Representative David Spiller, Representative Lynn Stucky, Cooke County Judge John Roane, Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Assistant Chief Kevin Starbuck, and other state and local officials.

Governor Abbott continues to take action to provide all available resources to help support local communities from the impacts of severe weather, including:
  • Readying state emergency response resources on April 25 ahead of wildfire and severe weather threats.
  • Issuing a disaster declaration on April 30 for counties affected by recent storms and deploying additional state emergency response resources in anticipation of severe weather and flooding. The Governor first amended his disaster declaration on May 2, updated it further on May 7, amended it again on May 15, and added additional counties on May 20.
  • Increasing the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center to help support local officials with requests for state assistance.
  • Holding a briefing on May 6 with local and state officials from impacted areas and providing an update on the state's robust response efforts in support of local communities.
  • Requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration on May 15 for Texas communities impacted by severe storms.
  • Securing partial approval of a Presidential Disaster Declaration on May 17 for areas of the state affected by severe weather.
  • Requesting additional counties be added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration on May 19 for Texas communities impacted by severe storms.
  • Providing an update on the state's response and recovery efforts in impacted communities.

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