Gov. Abbott Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration For Harris And Five Other Counties After Imelda

Preliminary damage assessments say more than 800 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Governor Greg Abbott requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Tuesday for six Texas counties, including Harris County, where Tropical Storm Imelda caused severe flooding. If President Donald Trump grants the declaration, affected residents will be eligible for federal aid, including unemployment and legal assistance.

In addition to Harris, Abbott named Chambers, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery and Orange counties in his letter to the administration.

Imelda is one of the wettest tropical cyclones in U.S. history, according to the National Weather Service, and five deaths have been attributed to the storm.

Jesus Escavado takes down a tent as heavy rains from Tropical Depression Imelda flood the streets in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

Abbott said Imelda impacted thousands of Texans and that preliminary assessments by FEMA and state authorities determined that 884 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage in the six counties included in his request.

“Texans, first responders across the state, local officials, and volunteer organizations are exhausted,” Abbott said in the request, while adding that Texas is still struggling with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey and volunteer groups are suffering from little funding and fatigue.

Abbott has also asked for assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration through its Disaster Loan Program.

Below you can read Gov. Abbott’s request to President Donald Trump asking for the Presidential Disaster Declaration: