JEFFERSON, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur has issued a disaster declaration for a second time since severe winter weather pushed through the region last week.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week approved Gov. Greg Abbott’s request to add 31 more counties to President Joe Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance, including Bowie and Harrison. But Marion County was not added to the list. That means residents here are not eligible to receive individual assistance from the federal government for help covering losses and expenses caused by damage from the storms.
“We live in a county where most people are on fixed income. They are retired and they are disabled,” said LaFleur, who issued a local state of disaster last Monday and again on Tuesday.
Individual assistance through the FEMA program includes rental assistance, temporary lodging expenses, home repair and replacement, and other miscellaneous expenses such as personal property, moving and storage expenses, child care, transportation, cleaning and removal, and more.
Marion County commissioners will meet on Thursday to decide how long to extend the disaster. According to LaFleur, he is only authorized to keep one in effect for up to a week.
In the meantime, LaFleur is asking everyone to self-report storm damage at TDEM.TEXAS.GOV/WARM, where individuals and businesses can upload photos, describe damage and give details about their property. This could help reveal the extent of the damage in the county and prove the need for additional federal help.
In addition, the county is offering bottled water to residents for free at the Sheriff’s Office. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is located at 102 W. Dallas Street and can be reached by phone at 903-665-7201.