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Congressman Vicente Gonzalez

Representing the 15th District of Texas

Congressman Gonzalez Sends Second Letter to President and FEMA Administrator Requesting Federal Disaster Assistance for South Texas

July 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) has sent a second letter to both President Donald J. Trump, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William B. Long requesting that federal disaster assistance be granted for Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, and Coastal Bend. This funding would assist in recovery efforts following recent severe weather and flooding.

“The time to act is now,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I am calling on the administration to formally enact a Federal Disaster Declaration, and provide South Texans with the necessary tools and resources to rebuild their communities.”

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a State Disaster Declaration that has been updated to include ten Texas counties: Aransas, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Nueces, San Patricio, Starr, and Willacy.

On Friday, June 22, 2018, Congressman Gonzalez sent letters to President Trump and Administrator Long asking that FEMA exercise its authority, under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act) §401, to expedite a disaster declaration. According to federal law, for federal disaster funding to be authorized, Governor Abbott must submit a formal request to FEMA.

On Monday, June 25, 2018, the congressman sent a letter to Governor Abbott requesting that the governor contact President Trump and FEMA Administrator Long to formally request a federal disaster declaration.

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Congressman Gonzalez’s outreach to Governor Abbott was answered as Governor Abbott made formal requests to President Trump and FEMA. Congressmen Gonzalez, Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Filemon Vela (TX-34), and Governor Abbott have now all called on President Trump to provide recovery assistance to the affected areas in South Texas.

Read the full letters sent to President Trump and Administrator Long below:

 

July 5, 2018

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump,

This is our second letter to you on this matter, and we request your utmost attention. It is imperative to the safety and security of over one million Texans that we immediately provide the Rio Grande Valley and the Coastal Bend as well as affected areas in Texas support and relief from the severe weather and flooding event that began on June 19, 2018. Our Governor, Greg Abbott, has completed and forwarded to your attention the necessary request, and Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA). The damage caused by these storms has surpassed the threshold necessary for disaster declaration in the following: Aransas, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Nueces, San Patricio, Starr, and Willacy Counties.

This deluge has affected the Rio Grande Valley, located in South Texas, and spans several Congressional Districts. Water levels have been recorded as high as seven feet in some areas. This weather event caused serious devastation, including damages to public property, homes, businesses, roads, streets, and loss of property. The level of property damage, and danger to life and limb warranted a declaration of disaster from Governor Abbott.

I would ask that you direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to exercise all the authority vested in it through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act) §401, to expedite a disaster declaration.

Once the disaster declaration is made through FEMA, I ask that you make resources, including federal funds, available to these South Texas counties as soon as possible as we work together to recover and rebuild. I have included a copy of Governor Abbott’s Proclamation of a state of disaster.

Should you have any questions, or need more information about this tragic occurrence, please contact me at (202) 225-2531.

Most respectfully,

 

Vicente Gonzalez

Member of Congress

 

 

July 5, 2018

 

William B. "Brock" Long

Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street SW

Washington, D.C. 20024

 

Dear Administrator Long,

This is our second letter to you on this matter, and we request your utmost attention. It is imperative to the safety and security of over one million Texans that we immediately provide the Rio Grande Valley and the Coastal Bend as well as affected areas in Texas support and relief from the severe weather and flooding event that began on June 19, 2018. Our Governor, Greg Abbott, has completed and forwarded to your attention the necessary request, and Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA). The damage caused by these storms has surpassed the threshold necessary for disaster declaration in the following: Aransas, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Nueces, San Patricio, Starr, and Willacy Counties.

This deluge has affected the Rio Grande Valley, located in South Texas, and spans several Congressional Districts. Water levels have been recorded as high as seven feet in some areas. This weather event caused serious devastation, including damages to public property, homes, businesses, roads, streets, and loss of property. The level of property damage, and danger to life and limb warranted a declaration of disaster from Governor Abbott.

I would ask that you direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to exercise all the authority vested in it through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act) §401, to expedite a disaster declaration.

Once the disaster declaration is made through FEMA, I ask that you make resources, including federal funds, available to these South Texas counties as soon as possible as we work together to recover and rebuild. I have included a copy of Governor Abbott’s Proclamation of a state of disaster.

Should you have any questions, or need more information about this tragic occurrence, please contact me at (202) 225-2531.

Most respectfully,

 

Vicente Gonzalez

Member of Congress

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