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Texas A&M chancellor tapped as Harvey recovery czar

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp on Thursday was named as the leader of a gubernatorial commission that will muster state agencies assisting in Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sharp, a former state lawmaker and comptroller, idealizes the qualities he wants in the person leading his new Commission to Rebuild Texas.

“This storm and the devastation that it caused deserves a Texas-size response,” Abbott said. “Texas is up to the challenge.”

Abbott said the main goal of the task force is to help communities assess their needs and bring to bear the resources of state and federal agencies to address them.

“The road to recovery is not going to be a short one,” Abbott said.

Sharp, who grew up in Victoria County and has represented much of the area affected by Harvey, said he aims to help the Lone Star State recover as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible.

“Frankly, if we can do as good a job as average Texans have done in helping their neighbors, we would be a role model for the rest of the country,” Sharp said.

Sharp said he will establish information clearing houses in each affected county, which will coordinate with state officials who can help connect local leaders to state and federal help. He said he will also ensure that infrastructure that is being rebuilt is as future-proof as possible, mitigating any risks going forward.

“Harvey may have staggered us, but it didn’t knock us out,” Sharp said.

With Hurricane Irma looming near Florida, Abbott said he is confident the federal government can respond to more than one disaster at a time.

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