FULTON, TEXAS - This weekend Governor Abbott along with representatives and senators gathered with the cities of Rockport and Fulton to sign two bills into law, in response to devastation from Hurricane Harvey.
Two years ago to this day many of our lives changed forever when the biggest natural disaster in Texas history hit the coast and the crossroads.
"Everywhere I looked there was a disaster, everywhere. But I can tell you this, everywhere I looked it was a willingness to rebuild," tells State Senator Lois Kolkhorst. "They not only rebuild, but we were going to come back better. So today we celebrate another step in that process."
Hurricane Harvey devastated the crossroads and rebuilding has been tough on many but Senator Lois Kolkhorst sponsored Senate Bill 6 to address recommendations from the Governors's commission to rebuild Texas. A few of those recommendations are improvements to the state's disaster response and recovery efforts and a loan program to meet the financial needs of communities recovering from disaster.
"So I thought the House and the Senate worked very well together in working to recover from Hurricane Harvey, take the lessons learned and apply those through statutes, so we're even better prepared for the next natural disaster," adds Kolkhorst. "Also to give a great deal of money to communities like Rockport-Fulton, Victoria and all of our areas."
You might be wondering where that money will be coming from.
"A tremendous amount of money will be coming from FEMA, HUD, and that money flows to our state agencies, like the Texas Department of Emergency Management then flows to the General Land office. Then that money flows to the district," explains Kolkhorst.
House Bill 6 creates a disaster recovery task force to assist with financial issues related to disaster recovery, like navigating through FEMA and the Housing and Urban Development.
"The mission of this taskforce is to strengthen the recovery function while utilizing the resources of institutions of higher education, state agencies, and all of our organized volunteers. Our volunteer organizations were the backbone of helping us all recover," declares Rep. Geanie Morrison.
After explaining each bill, Gov Greg Abbott then signed Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 6 into law.
Gov. Abbott told everyone in attendance that the Housing and Urban Development put out another 4.5 billion dollars to the state of Texas.
"HUD has now put out papers that the state of Texas is going to be making an application for. The state of Texas is getting $4.5 billion dollars more to help this region and the entire affected region rebuild even more and even better going forward," exclaims Gov. Greg Abbott.
The message preached is that it may take years but Texas will rebuild.
"You have risen up, you have ensured that Fulton, Rockport and the entire state of Texas have risen up. Because of you and what resides in you and your hearts," tells Gov. Abbott.
"As your Governor I wanted to say I am proud of the people Fulton and Rockport and Texas for the way you have responded to Hurricane Harvey and the way you have rebuilt your communities."
Kolkhorst adds we're still on a long road to recovery but one step closer day by day.
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