THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON DECLARES DISASTER IN TEXAS FEMA FUNDING MADE AVAILABLE
The President this evening declared a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal funding to supplement state and local recovery efforts there following severe storms and flooding which has left seven dead and forced more than 10,000 people to be evacuated statewide. In addition, the President directed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros to go to Texas tomorrow to coordinate the response.
"This will immediately allow the federal funding to get to those who need it and to help the tens of thousands of flood victims," the President said.
"My heart goes out to the people of Texas who have been affected by this flood and suffered losses, especially to the families of those who have lost loved ones. We will do everything we can to help get things back to normal as quickly as possible."
President Clinton's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in a 26 county area. The counties include Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Brazos, Burleson, Chambers, Fayette, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Lee, Liberty, Madison, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Washington, Waller, and Walker.
Assistance can include disaster housing grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Damage surveys by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are continuing in other areas and additional areas may be added after the assessments are completed.
In addition to Secretary Cisneros' planned travel tomorrow, a group of Administration officials including Small Business Administrator Phil Lader, Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Harvey Ryland, FEMA Associate Director of Response and Recovery Richard Krimm and Federal Highway Administrator Rodney Slater left for the region today to survey damage. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena will travel to the region on Thursday.