Gainesville Mayor Jim Goldsworthy has declared the city a local disaster after a winter storm swept through the city causing residents to be without water and electricity.
While the disaster declaration was signed on Monday, Feb. 15, the announcement wasn’t made by city officials until today, Friday, Feb. 19.
Gainesville Emergency Management spokeswoman Tamara Grimes-Sieger said Friday afternoon that the declaration is just “a formality” because Gov. Greg Abbott had already issued one for the entire state. Abbott’s was issued ahead of the storm on Friday, Feb. 12.
According to a copy of the emergency declaration, the local disaster lasts for a period of not more than seven days unless continued by members of the city council.
The city’s emergency management team is asking individuals and businesses to take a few moments to complete the damage assessment self-survey at https://arcg.is/uOrOb as soon as damage is known. Only one survey per impacted address is requested.
The state must meet the financial threshold for federal funding to become available, which may include assistance for individuals, businesses, nonprofits or agricultural establishments, according to a press release issued by Grimes-Sieger.
Abbott has encouraged everyone to keep receipts for any damage repairs related to the winter storm in the event that the financial thresholds are met and federal funding becomes available.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14.