Governor Abbott Requests SBA Disaster Declaration For Perryton Tornado

August 18, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he requested a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for residents in Ochiltree County affected by the severe weather and tornado that occurred on June 15 in Perryton. If approved, this SBA declaration would make federal assistance available in the form of disaster loans for Ochiltree County and its contiguous counties.

"The damage sustained from the severe weather and tornadoes in June created an economic emergency in Ochiltree County and surrounding counties," said Governor Abbott. "The State of Texas continues working to ensure Texans impacted by the severe weather receive the resources and assistance they need to recover. If approved, this disaster declaration will be an important step to help the Perryton community rebuild their homes and businesses."

This announcement comes after an exhaustive attempt by the State of Texas to determine whether the significant damage in Northwest Texas reaches the extremely high threshold for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. While over 220 homes were destroyed or certified with major damage and $13.5 million in public infrastructure damages were identified, these confirmed damages fall short of the federal disaster assistance thresholds set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to qualify for a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

If the state’s request is approved, the SBA would provide low-interest loans through its disaster programs to qualifying Texans whose homes and businesses sustained damage during the Perryton tornado and severe storms.

Local, state, and federal officials conducted an analysis of damage sustained in Perryton and surrounding communities, which verifies that Ochiltree County meets the 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.


This is the latest action in Texas' efforts to respond to severe storm impacts:

  • In July, Governor Abbott requested an extension of the deadline to submit a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government. The 30-day extension allowed for impacted Texans to report damage using iSTAT surveys and allowed for local and state partners to gather additional expenditure information from response and recovery efforts.
  • On June 22, the Governor directed TDEM to request Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments with local, state, and federal partners.
  • The Governor deployed additional assets on June 21 to support local response and recovery efforts in Perryton.
  • Governor Abbott held a briefing with state and local officials in Perryton on June 17 and provided an update on state response following the deadly tornado in the Panhandle.
  • On June 16, the Governor 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.
  • On June 15, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to deploy state emergency response assets to the City of Perryton immediately following the devastating tornado in Northwest Texas.


Read the Governor’s letter.