Sonora, Texas Declared a Disaster Area
AUSTIN, TX — Governor Greg Abbott issued a State Disaster Declaration for Sutton County and two other Texas counties recently impacted by severe weather and flooding.
According to a press release, by issuing this disaster declaration, Governor Abbott has authorized the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions necessary to respond to this disaster.
“When severe weather and flooding strikes Texas, our top priorities are to ensure the safety of those in harm’s way and to provide the necessary resources to help them recover,” said Governor Abbott. “This Disaster Declaration will ensure local officials and Texans affected by these storms have what they need to respond. I thank our first responders for keeping communities safe when disasters strike, and I encourage all Texans to be prepared for severe weather.”
The other counties are Tarrant including Fort Worth and Ellis including Waxahachie.
As we reported earlier, There were over 250 homes in Sonora that had flood damage and many of the displaced residents are in local hotels. “The trailers with flood damage are gone.” said Sutton County Judge Steve Smith. The judge said they spent three hours Wednesday evening going over the figures tabulating the amount of damage for the disaster declaration from the Governor’s office.
Smith said they will submit the request to Governor Greg Abbott’s office today. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem getting the disaster declaration approved.” Smith said.
The American Red Cross processed 161 damage claims on Wednesday according to Smith. “There are USDA low interest loans available for those who lost everything.” Smith said. The Red Cross is giving out debit cards with varying amounts depending on the number of residents in a home. “The San Angelo Area Foundation will do something similar so 100 percent of donations to that account will go to the folks who need it.” Smith said.
The Texas Baptist Men are in Sonora cleaning out houses. Smith says that they are working with churches to adopt families whose homes were destroyed.
“The people are so grateful for the thoughts and prayers, just to know that there are others out there who care.” Smith said. There is a list of needed items on the Sonora Flood Relief Facebook page that changes daily. Smith says they are expecting 18-wheelers to arrive from East Texas today with new clothes for children and food, but the need is still there for the items on the list. "Our Civic Center looks like a Dollar Store." Smith said.
The devastating flooding began last Friday morning as a cold front and moisture from the remnants of a Pacific tropical system collided over West Texas dumping heavy rainfall over vast areas of the center of the state. The slow moving line of thunderstorms seemed to stall out over Sutton County deluging the normally dry watershed of the Dry Devils River. The rain fell on already saturated ground and had only one place to go; down the riverbed through Sonora.
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