Congressmen Gene Green and Al Green Formally Request that President Obama Issue a Disaster Declaration for Harris County and the Houston Area
WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Congressmen Gene Green (TX-29) and Al Green (TX-09) in a letter to President Obama formally requested that he issue a disaster declaration for Harris County and the Houston area due to the extensive flooding, loss of life, and loss of power the area has experienced. On April 18, 2016, Governor Greg Abbott formally declared a state of emergency in the Houston area as well as other areas.
Congressman Gene Green said, “Houston and Harris County have experienced heavy rain and thunderstorms over the past several days, leaving over 120,000 residents without power and closing schools and businesses in the area. First responders have assisted with over 1,200 water rescues in Harris County alone. This is a state of emergency, and we are calling on the President to make an official declaration so that Houston area residents and their families can get the assistance they need quickly.”
In the letter, the Congressmen specifically argued that federal relief efforts are urgently needed because of the risk of increased homelessness and damage to small businesses. Additionally, they requested that the filing deadline for federal income tax returns be extended to assist individuals who were unable to file their taxes on April 18, 2016 because of the extreme inclement weather.
“I applaud Governor Greg Abbott for his appropriate and expeditious declaration of a state of emergency in the Houston area as well as other areas. Houstonians as well as Texans across the state have been seriously affected, experienced significant damage to their property, and have been disrupted in their efforts to timely file their federal income taxes. I strongly encourage President Obama to issue a disaster declaration, see that all necessary relief efforts and initiatives are directed to the area, and that the filing deadline for federal income tax returns is extended for those affected by this catastrophic weather,” Congressman Al Green said. “I stand ready to assist my constituents and will continue to monitor this situation and its aftermath, particularly its effect on the people most in need.”