Office of John Cornyn —
Senator John Cornyn has joined Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Bill Flores, in sending a letter to President Obama supporting Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent appeal for a Major Disaster Declaration for West, Texas. Perry’s original request was denied by the President on June 10th.
“The State’s appeal of your previous denial of a Major Disaster Declaration represents a significant opportunity to support the process of rebuilding and recovery in the wake of this disaster, and we urge you to give this request every due consideration,” the delegation wrote.
The full text of the letter is copied below:
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you in support of the Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) appeal for West, TX fertilizer plant explosion that was made on July 9, 2013.
We appreciate the effort made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with federal, state, and local officials to plan and execute a response that met the immediate needs of those most affected by this disaster. The tragic explosion in West injured hundreds, caused millions of dollars in damage, and took 15 lives, including the lives of 12 first responders.
It is our understanding that, as part of the state-federal coordination efforts, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) worked directly with FEMA to document under-insured and uninsured losses. As the appeal clearly outlines, the damages to public infrastructure in the City of West exceeded the federally-determined threshold required under the Stafford Act to issue a major disaster declaration.
We remain grateful for your visit to Waco, TX, particularly the commitment you made at the memorial service for the first responders of West, where you stated to the victims that “your country will remain ever ready to help you recover, and rebuild, and reclaim your community.” The State’s appeal of your previous denial of a Major Disaster Declaration represents a significant opportunity to support the process of rebuilding and recovery in the wake of this disaster, and we urge you to give this request every due consideration.
We look forward to working with you to follow through on this commitment and ensure the City of West and its citizens are given a chance to reclaim their community.