FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       
June 18, 2019
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
DISTRICT31@HOUSE.TEXAS.GOV

GUILLEN COMBATS FLOODING IN WILLACY COUNTY

 

AUSTIN –  District 31 is currently struggling with subsequent flooding in and around Willacy County. Representative Guillen has been working diligently with the Governors' office and the local emergency service districts to support and alleviate some of the hardships being faced in the RGV. Flood control mitigation was a top priority this session, and the ongoing process of improvement is critical to the safety of all Texans.

 

"500 year floods such as Hurricane Harvey are occurring almost annually now, and have devastated communities across the state," said Guillen. "As the state's population grows and the impact of flooding events increases, greater funding is imperative for the creation of more resilient infrastructure. We must do more to protect Texans from future storms."

 

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a flash flood recently hit Ryan Guillen's District 31 and caused subsequent flooding in Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties. The flooding has caused hundreds of people to be evacuated from their homes, and has prevented hundreds more from getting to work or having access to essential goods.

 

Currently, Willacy County, along with Hidalgo and Cameron, are conducting pumping operations to push water out of the affected areas, and the Texas Military, TxDOT and Texas Task Force 1 are being utilized to evacuate citizens and provide food shelter and clothing to those in need.

 

Important numbers:

  • Evacuations are underway by Texas Task Force 1 - (888) 999-9775

  • Clothing is being provided by FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance - 800-621-FEMA (3362)

  • Sheltering and feeding is being provided by the American Red Cross - (956) 423-0523

 

What to do after Your Home Floods:

  • Document your damage with pictures and evidence

  • Make sure people know how to contact you

  • File a claim with FEMA, NFIP, or your insurer

 

The Disaster Relief Centers locations and hours of operation are:

  • Hidalgo County

Porter P. Doss Memorial Library

515 S. Kansas Ave.

Weslaco, TX 78596

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Closed Sunday

 

  • Willacy County

693 S. 7th St.

Raymondville, TX 78580

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Closed Sunday

 

"The flooding in my district has been a tough situation for everyone involved, said Guillen, "but I am proud of our local communities for coming together to help us recover as quickly as possible."

 

This session, Guillen and the Texas legislature, voted in favor of SB 500, which will allocate $2.8 billion in funds towards disaster prevention projects, and SB 7 which will provide $1.6 billion to establish two new funds, the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund and the Flood Infrastructure Fund, both to be used to address the effects of Hurricane Harvey and prepare for future flooding and disasters. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that released $4 billion in funding to go towards disaster response.

 

Guillen also authored a number of bills during the 86th legislative session to help provide support to communities after a disaster such as HB 492 - providing property tax exemptions after a disaster, HB 1028 - increasing the looting penalty during a disaster, HB 1152 - capping prices of essential goods during a disaster, HB 3616 - coordinating efforts with faith-based organizations during a disaster, and HB 3668 - providing grants to non-profit foodbanks to prepare for a disaster event. 

 

"Improving recovery efforts after natural disasters will be crucial for years to come," said Guillen, "Increasing funding to deal with those disasters is an important step for our legislature, but the conversation needs to continue next session."

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The recent flooding tragedy in Willacy only makes the bills passed by Representative Guillen even more important, and proves his commitment to protecting Texans and their interests.

 

Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen

 

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