Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that 14 counties, including Travis and Fayette, have been added to the federal disaster declaration, raising the total to 33 counties.
Travis County is one of the four counties where public assistance from FEMA is available, but individual is not. The reason for that, Abbott said, is because these counties were not as subject to the disaster but are aiding in support by sheltering evacuees, providing law enforcement and other measures. Those four counties are:
On Tuesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the city is prepared to shelter thousands of evacuees and confirmed he was asked if Austin could host up to 7,000 evacuees, though it could be more. Though a few shelters have already began accepting evacuees, the City of Austin is working to open a “mega shelter” at the Austin Convention Center.
Abbott said these 11 counties have a “complete” federal disaster declaration, meaning they include individual assistance as well as public assistance:
- San Jacinto
The previously granted 19 counties included:
- Bexar (for public assistance)
- Ft. Bend
- San Patricio
For those counties listed under the federal disaster declaration, Abbott said the webpage DisasasterAssistance.gov has been set up to help those eligible for immediate support from FEMA.
As of Monday, Abbott said 210,000 people had already applied for individual assistance with FEMA. He said FEMA has approved more than $37 million in individual assistance so far and has helped provide more than 5 million meals to those seeking shelter.
In the press conference Monday, Abbott said that in addition to facing the needs of those in Harris County, the state is also dealing with catastrophic and life-threatening conditions in southeast Texas. Abbott said eyes have turned to regions like Beaumont and Victoria where flooding concerns could last for over a week.
Abbott also provided the following statistics:
- 14,000 members of the State National Guard have been activated. The state is working with the National Guard Bureau to raise that number to 24,000.
- Texas National Guard is active in 25 locations across the state.
- The National Guard has deployed more than 600 vehicles, 500 boats, 100 helicopters.
- The National Guard has conducted 8,500 rescues, 26,000 evacuations, and 1,400 shelter-in-place and welfare checks.
- The Department of Defense is sending 200 boats and 200 vehicles to help in relief efforts.
On Friday, Polk, Tyler and Walker counties were added to the declaration for both public and individual assistance, bringing the total to 36.