Governor Abbott Requests Disaster Assistance For Additional Counties Impacted By Severe Weather

May 19, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to request additional counties be added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration for severe weather and flooding that began on April 26.

“The severe storms that swept across the state caused damage of such severity and magnitude that I am requesting eight additional counties be added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration,” said Governor Abbott. “As we work to receive this crucial assistance, I encourage Texans to continue reporting damages to their homes and businesses through the iSTAT damage survey. With these additional counties added, more Texans that sustained damages from the storm to their homes or businesses will have the financial assistance they need to rebuild and recover. I thank the Texas Division of Emergency Management and our first responders who are working tirelessly to protect their fellow Texans.”

At the Governor’s direction and following a review of damage assessments in additional impacted communities which show they exceed federal criteria for disaster assistance, Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd has requested the addition of eight counties to become eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance programs. Those additional counties include Calhoun, Eastland, Guadalupe, Hardin, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, and Waller.

Additionally, at the direction of the Governor, Chief Kidd has requested that Harris County become eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

Additional counties may be added to the Governor’s request as additional damage assessments are completed in affected communities.

On Friday, President Biden partially approved the Governor’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Texas communities impacted by severe storms that began on April 26. The partial approval allows qualifying Texans in seven counties who sustained damage to apply for grant funding to assist with repair and recovery expenses.

The Presidential Disaster Declaration also authorizes additional FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program resources to be made available statewide and authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for physical and economic loss for the seven counties approved for Individual Assistance.

Approval of the remainder of the Governor’s request would ensure eligibility for designated counties to utilize grant funding for emergency work and repair or replacement of disaster-damage infrastructure.

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, and amended the state declaration again on May 15.
  • 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.