Governor Abbott Issues Disaster Declaration For Perryton Tornado Response

June 16, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a disaster declaration for Texas communities impacted by severe storms and tornadoes that caused significant damage to homes and businesses in Ochiltree and Cass counties. The disaster declaration will further support Texas’ recovery efforts in response to extensive damage in those counties. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as damage assessments are completed.

"Our hearts remain with the people of Perryton and all Texans impacted by last night's devastating tornadoes in the Panhandle," said Governor Abbott. "This disaster declaration for Ochiltree and Cass counties will help streamline the State of Texas' ability to help local officials recover and rebuild their communities. I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in prayer for the families grieving the loss of loved ones and those who were injured during this horrific storm. I also thank our emergency response personnel for their courage and dedication as they continue to work around the clock to help their fellow Texans recover this Father's Day weekend."

Last night, Governor Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy state emergency response resources to meet urgent life-safety needs in Perryton, Texas, due to a tornado that impacted the community. Additionally, at the Governor's request, TDEM has increased the readiness level of the Texas State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response) to support requests from local officials and coordinate state resources deployed yesterday.

At the Governor’s direction, TDEM continues to coordinate the following state resources to support tornado response operations:

  • Texas Division of Emergency Management: Response and recovery staff deployed to Perryton to assist with local officials with assistance requests and to coordinate state emergency response resources
  • Texas Department of Transportation: Road crews to support debris clearing, traffic control, and road condition monitoring
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Public Works Response Team): Personnel and equipment to help with wastewater treatment generator needs and operating the state resource staging area
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Saw Crews to clear roadways, and Incident Management Teams
  • Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Medical Incident Support Team, ambulance buses and ambulances supporting local EMS and local hospitals
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Task Force 1 and Texas Task Force 2): Type III Urban Search and Rescue Teams comprised of technically trained personnel and nationally-certified search canines
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Game Wardens assisting with the delivery of supplies and security in the impact zone
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Personnel to monitor air/water/wastewater quality
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Law enforcement personnel providing assessment, support, and security assistance in the impacted area

Impacted Texans are encouraged to complete TDEM’s Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) self-reporting damage survey to help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent severe weather and determine the state’s eligibility for various forms of federal disaster assistance. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

Read the Governor’s disaster declaration.