By Lora-Marie Bernard
COUNTY RESIDENTS could receive grants of up to $33,000 from the federal government if president Barack Obama agrees with Texas governor Greg Abbott’s assessment that Galveston is one of 15 counties made a disaster area by Hurricane Patricia.
Abbott, left, declared a state of disaster for the 15 counties this month after state authorities said preliminary assessments showed that the damage caused by the hurricane met federal declaration criteria.
“The flooding … forever changed many Texans’ lives,” Abbott said as he asked Obama to provide federal funds for 7.1 million people who live in the affected counties.
The damage from Hurricane Patricia began on October 22, when the northeastward-traveling remnants of the Pacific weather system met an upper-level disturbance after crossing Mexico. The resulting rain broke daily rainfall records in border counties.
The storm strengthened the next day when it ran into another intense band of weather. From there, the hurricane dumped havoc from the Valley to the Texas Panhandle for more than a week.
If the president declares the event a major disaster, affected citizens could receive grants or low-interest disaster loans from the federal small business administration.
In his federal request, Abbott mentioned the voluntary evacuation of Bolivar while describing the catastrophic events that occurred during the bad weather. Galveston was highlighted as one of the main counties that experienced tornado damage.
Abbott’s request states: “In the Houston suburb of Friendswood, one home had a collapsed roof and 30 homes had major damages. In the city of Alvin, approximately 25 mobile homes were damaged and two people were injured.”
The national weather service confirmed that a total of 11 tornados touched down on October 31 in Chambers, Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties.