Update (5:32 p.m.)

Amarillo Mayor Cole Stanley said that the disaster declaration from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “goes hand-in-hand” with the declarations that have been issued by the city of Amarillo, Potter and Randall counties. The state’s declaration is an acknowledgment from the state that “they do have their eyes on what’s going on up here in our county and in our city and that they’re willing and definitely want to be available to help.”

Stanley continued to stress the importance of the damage survey online portal from the Texas Division of Emergency Management, giving members of the community the chance to submit damage surveys from rain and flooding. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) allows for personal and commercial reporting of property damage. 

“(Abbott’s declaration) just legitimizes the fact that we have had a disaster here. It’s unprecedented rains, we’re having some issues that we don’t typically see… It’s just an overall concern for the health and well-being of our public.”

Stanley said that the iSTAT application is available for the city as well, stressing how important it is for the city, as well as its residents, to get that process started. This gives the state the opportunity to reimburse residents, as well as the city, for damage.

Stanley said the city has reached a number of thresholds in its budget to cover necessary fixes to infrastructure caused by this specific incident. Stanley expects this will cause the city to re-prioritize and evaluate the status of streets within the city of Amarillo and could impact other future infrastructure projects.

“I’ve received a few updates on the damage and the cost so far, and we’ve exceeded our thresholds,” Stanley said. “So, one threshold was $450,000 and the other one was $600 and some thousand dollars. We’re over that and we’ll probably continue to get much further beyond those two thresholds as we move forward.”

Original Story:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that a disaster declaration has been issued for the regions impacted by severe storms and flooding that began in late May and have continued into early June.

According to a news release from Abbott’s office, the declaration covers the Amarillo area, as well as the following counties:

  • Bailey County;
  • Briscoe County;
  • Castro County;
  • Deaf Smith County;
  • Garza County;
  • Hale County;
  • Lamb County;
  • Lynn County;
  • Potter County;
  • Randall County;
  • Parmer County;
  • Roberts County.

“The State of Texas stands ready to help provide any and all support and assistance so all impacted Texans can begin to rebuild and recover from damage to their homes and businesses,” Abbott said in the release. “All Texans who were affected by the storms in Northwest Texas are encouraged to report damages through the iSTAT damage survey so state and local officials can determine if the state meets the requirements for additional federal assistance. I thank all state and local emergency response personnel who continue to help these communities recover from severe storms.”

Officials said in the release that local and state officials are assessing damage across the impacted region, which will also continue as the flood waters recede. Determinations will be made about “the eligibility of various forms of federal disaster assistance” for individuals. Abbott’s office also encouraged residents to fill out the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool to self-report damage, a website that officials with the city of Canyon encouraged their residents to use earlier this month.

Officials also said that the Multi-Agency Resource Center will continue to be open in Deaf Smith County on Wednesday. According to previous reports, this center is aimed at supporting individuals and families impacted by recent flooding in the San Jose community of Hereford. The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the First Baptist Church Gym, located at 501 Sampson Street in Hereford.

This comes as the Texas Game Wardens have been assisting the Potter County Sheriff’s Office with “swift-water search and rescue needs.” According to a news release from the Texas Game Wardens, search and rescue teams have facilitated multiple vehicle-related rescues at low-level water crossings.

“Through strong interagency efforts and intensive training, Texas Game Wardens were prepared and ready to respond to an incident in the Panhandle,” Potter County Game Warden Ryan Hunter said in the release. “The search and rescue team maintains highly skilled members across the state and has a long history of supporting local authorities during times of severe weather crisis.” 

Wardens have also assisted with enforcement efforts for the Potter County disaster declaration, the release said.

“With severe weather and rain expected through the week, Texas Game Wardens will continue to work closely alongside local agencies and officials to coordinate response efforts to the current flooding event in the Amarillo area,” the release said.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with MyHighPlains.com and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.

This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.

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