(Photo courtesy of Kasey Murphy)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2013)—President Barak Obama on Friday signed a disaster declaration naming the State of Texas and directing federal aid to supplement state funds for relief in West.
The declaration means “Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the explosion in McLennan County,” the statement said.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), of the Department of Homeland Security, named Kevin L. Hannes as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) shortly after ther President signed the order, said "The city of West has been through so much since the tragic explosion in April, which took 15 lives, injured hundreds and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.
“The state of Texas and the entire West community have been working tirelessly to rebuild and recover with available resources," Flores said.
“Today, the president honored his commitment to West and approved the major disaster declaration which provides funding for Public Assistance under the Stafford Act.
“While I often disagree with President Obama on many issues, I applaud this decision to support this Central Texas community's efforts to rebuild and to recover,” Flores said.
"I would like thank Governor Perry and his team for their tireless efforts in the recovery and rebuilding of our community of West.
“I thank FEMA for their work to approve this declaration and I look forward to continuing to work with them throughout the rebuilding process.
“Additionally, I would also like to thank the 36 of 38 other Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation who signed a letter to the president supporting this funding for West,” Flores said.
"This federal funding, coupled with the financial commitment from the State of Texas, will help West rebuild even stronger than before.
“We wish Godspeed to the community as they rebuild and we remain committed to help them in every way possible.
“I also ask that all Texans remember those who perished in this disaster,” Flores said.