Obama declares disaster in southeast Texas


President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in three counties of Texas following severe storms including tornadoes and flooding earlier this month.

The declaration covers Jasper, Newton and Orange counties in southeast Texas.

It enables residents to received federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

The Sabine river along the border between Texas and Louisiana was hit with the worst flooding since 1884. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had requested the federal declaration on Friday and said at the time that more counties may be added later.

"“I would like to thank FEMA for their quick response to Texas’ request for Individual and Public Assistance to Texans affected by severe weather,” said Governor Abbott. “We are working with our local partners to ensure life safety needs continue to be met and with our federal government partners to ensure Texans receive all eligible assistance they need to recover from, and ultimately surmount, the challenges posed by the flooding in Southeast Texas.”