Governor Abbott Requests SBA Disaster Declaration After FEMA Denies Disaster Aid For Southeast Texas Tornadoes

~ Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to request a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for communities affected by severe weather and tornadoes in January. This comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Texas' request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Wednesday.

The Governor expressed his disappointment with the Biden Administration's decision not to support communities impacted by severe weather with FEMA assistance, but stated that the State of Texas will continue to exhaust all available options to support its citizens in need. He urged the SBA to provide disaster loans for these impacted communities and thanked TDEM for working to determine the state's eligibility for assistance.

If approved, SBA would provide low-interest loans through its disaster programs to qualifying Texans whose homes and businesses sustained damage during the severe weather. Last month, Governor Abbott requested President Biden declare a major disaster for the State of Texas in response to the severe weather that impacted Southeast Texas, which would have provided several types of federal resources to residents of designated counties.

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Local, state, and federal officials conducted an analysis of damage sustained in Southeast Texas which verifies that Harris and Orange counties meet federally required thresholds for SBA assistance. Officials also reviewed disaster damage information self-reported by Texans through Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) surveys.

On January 26th, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration for impacted communities in Southeast Texas that suffered damage to homes and businesses which he updated on January 30th to include additional affected counties. At his direction, TDEM deployed state emergency response personnel beginning January 23rd throughout the severe weather event to provide support to local jurisdictions and conduct preliminary damage assessments in coordination with local officials.

The Governor concluded his statement by emphasizing that there is no force more powerful than Texans helping Texans and together they will continue supporting those needing assistance so they can recover and move forward.

Filed Under: Government, State

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