Cornyn, Cruz Urge FEMA to Expedite North Texas Tornado Damage Estimates


In: All News   Posted 01/29/2020
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Letter Requests FEMA Expedite Review

WASHINGTON—To expedite North Texas’ recovery from severe weather this October, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) today sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urging it to quickly review the damages and promptly communicate its findings to President Trump to aid the recovery of North Texans.  This follows their letter to President Trump earlier this month asking him to expedite FEMA’s review and to support Governor Abbott’s request for a federal disaster declaration.

They wrote: “Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments have been ongoing in the affected area since October 28, 2019…The size of the impacted area, the complexity of the disaster, and the need to distinguish damages sustained during the incident period have complicated recovery efforts.”

“In the last four years, Texas has received 12 major disaster declarations for catastrophic weather events, including Hurricane Harvey. These disasters have strained local resources and fatigued first responders, non-profit partners, and millions of Texans as they struggle to recover. For these reasons, we respectfully ask you to work quickly to validate damage estimates and communicate your findings to Administrator Gaynor and President Trump.” 

You can view today’s signed letter here, and text is below.

January 29, 2020  

Mr. Tony Robinson 
Region VI Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FRC 800 North Loop 288
Denton, TX 76209-3698

Dear Mr. Robinson:

As you know, several counties in the Dallas area are struggling to recover from an outbreak of tornadoes last October. These tornadoes and other severe weather events caused an estimated $2 billion in damages, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak in Texas history.

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments have been ongoing in the affected area since October 28, 2019. The size of the impacted area, the complexity of the disaster, and the need to distinguish damages sustained during the incident period have complicated recovery efforts. FEMA Region VI, the state, and local jurisdictions have been working to ensure damage assessments are validated accurately and the full geographic scope of the disaster is realized. We commend FEMA’s efforts to conduct these assessments in a thorough manner, but the process has been slow and taxing, preventing Texas communities from moving forward in their recovery efforts.

In the last four years, Texas has received 12 major disaster declarations for catastrophic weather events, including Hurricane Harvey. These disasters have strained local resources and fatigued first responders, non-profit partners, and millions of Texans as they struggle to recover. For these reasons, we respectfully ask you to work quickly to validate damage estimates and communicate your findings to Administrator Gaynor and President Trump. 

We stand prepared to assist you in any way possible to ensure prompt evaluation of this request. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our offices with any questions.

Sincerely,

/s/