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FEMA Issues Major Disaster Declaration in West

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a major disaster declaration in West.

Governor Perry announced FEMA’s change of mind Friday.

From a statement released by the Governor’s office:

“The approval of the state’s appeal for a major disaster declaration is great and welcome news for the people of West. I appreciate everyone who joined me in standing with the people whose lives have been forever impacted to move this appeal forward, especially our congressional delegation,” Gov. Perry said. “This, along with the disaster relief funding provided by the Texas Legislature, will help this community rebuild their infrastructure, school district and public works as quickly as possible.”

This reverses FEMA’s original announcement on June 10, stating at the time the April fertilizer plant explosion was “not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.”

At the time, West Mayor Tommy Muska said federal money was needed to cover $57 million in damage, including $40 million to rebuild a destroyed school.

State Representative Kyle Kacal of rural College Station, whose district includes West, issued this statement: “I am pleased that the federal government has seen fit to overturn their denial of aid to the citizens of West. I would like to thank Governor Rick Perry and his office for initiating the state’s appeal process and for their assistance during this time of recovery. Additionally, I would like to thank our congressional delegation for their efforts in pressuring the Obama administration to reverse the earlier decision to deny West of additional relief funding.” “I firmly believe that the state’s appeal provided clarity to the crucial revitalization needs of West. As we continue moving forward, I remain committed to working with the local, state and federal officials to see to it that West receives the assistance they need to rebuild their infrastructure, schools and community.”

Congressman Bill Flores of Bryan, whose district includes West, issued this statement: “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.”

“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.”

“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.”

BillFlores080213west.mp3WTAW’s Bill Oliver visits with Congressman Bill Flores.

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Posted by on Aug 2 2013. Filed under Featured Stories, News.
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