Four Brazos Valley counties excluded from receiving Individual Assistance from FEMA

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Governor Greg Abbott announced Saturday that President Biden partially approved Texas’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration.

The Governor requested the Major Disaster Declaration on Thursday for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance in all 254 counties. The Biden administration approved the request for Individual Assistance in 77 counties including Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Madison, Walker, and Waller Counties.

Not on the list: Robertson, Leon, Milam, and Washington Counties, even though widespread utility and water outages and weather-related damages were also reported in those areas.

KBTX has reached out to FEMA for an explanation for why those counties were not included. They issued the following response:

“The 77 counties in the Individual Assistance portion of the Major Disaster Declaration are a start. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state, and warranted by the results of further assessments. Texas homeowners and renters living outside the designated counties should file a claim with their insurance provider, document damages to their home from the storm, and keep receipts for all expenses related to repairs.”

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Individuals and business owners in counties included in the President’s declaration who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585.

Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures statewide.

A statement from the White House Saturday said, “Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.”

The Governor and the Texas Division of Emergency Management says it will continue to work to ensure the federal government provides appropriate assistance to individual Texans as well as to the state and local governments.

The following counties were approved for Individual Assistance:

Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise Counties.

“I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” said Governor Abbott. “While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”

The Governor requested the Major Disaster Declaration in order to provide Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation for individuals and communities affected by this week’s severe winter weather.

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