BigNews.Biz - Jul 13,2010 - (From PoliticalNews.me)
“Thank you all for coming out this morning to get an update on our current situation.
As we all know the Rio Grande Valley is no stranger to natural disasters. Over the years we have worked together to rebuild and recover from the worst of hurricanes and floods.
This Saturday I went to the Rio Grande to get a first hand look at the situtation. I have to say I was overwhelmed with how high the river had risen and how strong the flow was.
I’m here to also be a first hand witness in order to relay the current situation to our federal government.
I am very pleased to say that as of now, our levees are holding. I have worked over the past 5 years to convince the federal government of the seriousness of our situation and our desperate need to repair and raise our levees. I have had countless meetings with appropriators from both sides of the aisle, like Frank Wolfe and David Price, to convince them that we faced disaster without these funds. I am so proud that over the past 3 years we have received over $400 million in federal funds. This money has allowed us to fix all of our levees in Hidalgo and Cameron counties and as a result we have been spared the flooding that our neighbors in Laredo and Starr County are experiencing.
As we know President Obama made a federal disaster declaration on June 29th for damages caused by Hurricane Alex. What we are experiencing now is a direct result of Hurricane Alex and the tropical depression that quickly followed.
FEMA is working closely with our local government here in Hidalgo County, to assess all of the damage caused by the hurricane and the tropical depression. Should the damage in our region reach a threshhold that makes us eligible for federal assistance, FEMA will be ready to step in and provide funds to repair homes and to cleanup the damage.
The Small Business Association will also be working to determine what assistance our local businesses need if they have suffered any damage or loss of business.
The SBA will be able to provide low interest loans to help these business owners get back on their feet.
Some of you have already seen the damage the rain, wind and flooding have caused to many of our Valley crops.
The U.S.D.A., of course, will be there to help our farmers recover from their losses through disaster loans and crop insurance. The USDA will also be able to help businesses that directly depend on agricultural products to recover.
I personally will be in touch with the Federal Agencies during this time to make sure that we here in the Rio Grande Valley receive the assistance we qualify for.
I know our local government officials here in Hidalgo County are also working very closely with state and federal agencies.
At this time we are hopeful that we have already experienced the worst.