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County added to federal disaster declaration

AUSTIN -- Polk, Tyler and Walker counties were added to the list of counties covered under the Federal Disaster Declaration previously approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday.

The addition of Polk County means that FEMA can now provide assistance to help with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The addition of the three on Friday brought the number of Texas counties receiving FEMA assistance to 36.

The three newly added counties will now be eligible to receive Individual Assistance, Public Assistance (Categories A and B including Direct Federal Assistance) and Hazard Mitigation from FEMA in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Additional counties will be added as they meet federal requirements.

“I am grateful for the quick action and flexibility of the President and FEMA to ensure Texans receive the resources they need so that we can focus on recovering as quickly as possible,” said Governor Abbott. “I want to assure Texans, as they begin to rebuild their communities, they are not alone, and we are doing everything we can to get them what they need. This disaster declaration will help provide much needed resources to Texans in their more dire time of need.”

Individual assistance means that home owners can obtain help for items not covered by insurance including housing while businesses damaged by the flood can obtain low interest loans through the Small Business Administration.

The public assistance portion of the FEMA program will help the county pay for the massive amount of repair work that will be needed to the roads, bridges and drainage systems.

On Friday, the Polk County Office of Emergency Management published a number of phone numbers and website addresses that local residents can contact for assistance. Those wishing to apply for help from FEMA should go to their website disasterassistance.org. Help from the American Red Cross can be obtained by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and employment assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission can be found at www.twc.state.tx.us
or at the Workforce Solutions office at 1241 W. Church Street, Suite 300, in Livingston.