Press Releases

Babin Urges Biden’s Swift Action on Southeast Texas Disaster Declaration

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) issued the following statement after sending a letter urging President Biden to swiftly approve Governor Abbott’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the severe storms and tornadoes that hit Southeast Texas on January 24, 2023.

“Southeast Texans are no strangers to natural disasters,” said Babin. “However, President Biden has the ability to assist in recovery efforts for those living in impacted areas. I’m proud to support Governor Abbott’s request and will continue doing all I can to help our communities rebuild.”

Read the full letter here or below:

February 9, 2023

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to express my support for Governor Greg Abbott’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred in Southeast Texas on January 24, 2023. These storms ripped through the region, bringing hail, furious winds, and tornadoes, resulting in extreme damage to Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, and Orange Counties. Governor Abbott has determined that federal assistance is warranted and necessary for recovery efforts across Southeast Texas and formally submitted the request on February 7, 2023.

On January 23, 2023, in response to the enhanced risk of severe weather, the State warned citizens along the path of danger and prepared response teams. On the morning of January 24, 2023, as a cold front moved south across Texas, massive thunderstorms led to high winds, forming tornados that touched down in Houston, Pasadena, Deer Park, and Baytown. Homes were flooded, buildings were toppled, schools were damaged, and businesses were destroyed.

Preliminary FEMA data estimates the cost of damages exceeds $4.2 million. While Southeast Texans are veterans of catastrophic storms and far too familiar with the hard work it takes to rebuild, without federal assistance, more than 600 Texans will be left to secure recovery funds on their own. Further, each impacted county has a median household income below the national average, making recovery for these families even more challenging.

My constituents live, work, and raise their families in the affected counties. The destruction and pain that weather events can leave behind is nothing new to these people, and far too many have been burdened in the past by other natural disasters. Those affected are hardworking people, contributing to the Texas and American economies every single day – and while Southeast Texans are a tough group of people, they now ask for your assistance.

Thank you for considering Governor Abbott’s request to begin alleviating the pain felt by these good people. Many Texans are counting on you, and I look forward to your swift response.

Brian Babin, D.D.S.