Texas Governors say rural aid is coming

A blue sky replaced the dark clouds that a week ago hung over the Wharton County Courthouse.

Now With floodwaters still receding and clean up just getting underway Tuesday afternoon Gov. Greg Abbott arrived in the town of Wharton to talk about Recovery efforts.

"I have one goal and that is to help each of you County Judges and Mayors succeed," said Gov. Abbott.

The governor was joined by Lt Gov. Dan Patrick and several other state lawmakers. After the briefing Abbott and Patrick promised a long term commitment from the state to flood ravaged rural areas like Wharton Co.

"One thing that we talked about was the imperative of having a close collaborative working relationship sharing information treating this disaster as a new model a new paradigm of expediting it up speed the recovery," said Abbott.

Paying for some of the recovery could involve tapping into the rainy day fund which lt. Governor Patrick said will not require a special session to do.

"And I know it's been tough a lot of flooding in the last three years in this area we are doing everything we can to help," said Patrick.

It's estimated that almost 80% of the town of Wharton flooded.   A video taken on Aug. 31 by the Texas Air Guard Staff Sgt. Agustin Salazar showed how rescue teams sloughed through high water and started going door-to-door rescuing flood victims. Homes were lost, as were businesses, crops and livestock.

But no lives were lost and neither was hope. A sign of that was all the activity going on at Cassandra Baldwin's home.

"It's definitely bringing people closer there's a lot of people here that I haven't even seen, never laid eyes on and they're here, you see the guys at work they just came and no one's complaining and they just came in asking what can they do and help, it really means a lot to me," said Baldwin.
The young men who came to her aid are members of a Basketball team from a Houston high school.
One of the players knows a family member and convinced six teammates, and their coach, to come help.

“It expanded so far, but it just goes to serve that's our point you're just trying to get out and serve wherever we can," said Coach Mike Niemi of Kempner High School.

But the Recovery will need more than strong arms. Mosquitos have started to swarm - to prevent a major health crisis the governor said he met with FEMA about a massive State, federal and local spraying campaign.

"We hope to get every location sprayed and begin the process by the course of this week," said Gov. Abbott.

One hundred percent of the cost of spraying for the first 30 days according to Gov. Abbott will be covered by the federal government. He also is expecting Congress to pass $100 million aid package by the end of the week with the bulk of that money going to local communities.

From Wharton Governor Abbott traveled to Beaumont and had a similar meeting with officials there.