Residents encouraged to report storm damages

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas – Nacogdoches County residents whose homes, businesses or agricultural facilities were damaged in storms that have battered the area since April are encouraged to file a report with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Nacogdoches County Judge Greg Sowell issued a disaster declaration for the county on May 31, a day after an EF1 tornado swept through part of the county and in response to a string of hazardous weather
that has forced numerous road closures and infrastructure damage. On June 3, Texas Division of Emergency Management officials began surveying damage throughout the county in order to assess the impacts of storms which have moved through the area since April 26. “A disaster declaration is not something we use haphazardly,” said Nacogdoches County Emergency Management Coordinator Tara Triana. “It’s issued when we exceed our normal response capabilities.
The severe weather over the past several weeks has become more than our normal spring storm season.” Residents whose homes, businesses or agricultural operations have been damaged as a result of weather since April 26 should file a report at https://damages.tdem.texas.gov. Certain public entities – state agencies, non-profit utilities, tribal nations, universities, school districts
and other special-use districts, and private non-profit organizations – may also submit damages using the Public State of Texas Assessment Tool (pSTAT) at this link: https://tinyurl.com/2ta5xcrr A mobile application is also available under the pSTAT section at https://pstat.tdem.texas.gov. Those reports will be analyzed by state officials and used to determine whether they and their fellow
Texans are eligible to receive assistance from the federal government.
“It’s based on how much money it’s going to take to repair the damage caused across the state,” Triana said. Reports from Nacogdoches County will be combined with those from surrounding counties, like Polk and San Jacinto, to meet a threshold.
As of June 4, 25 residents had submitted damage reports to homes in Nacogdoches. Nine of those residences had suffered major damage.
Since April 26, there have been 126 road closures throughout the county from significant damage including washouts and collapses as a result of flooding. There have been an additional 238 closures as a result of trees and debris blocking roadways, which have been cleared by county road and bridge
workers, volunteer and paid firefighters, and voluntary residents.

The storms and damage have placed a burden on the county government’s funds to clear, repair and maintain roads and infrastructure that have been damaged. As of Tuesday, Nacogdoches County officials estimate some $300,000 in materials alone have had to be purchased as a result of the storms.
Road and bridge crews continue to work diligently to reopen and repair roads.
“We’re asking for the people to be patient as we get these roads cleared and debris hauled away,” said Doyle Williams, Nacogdoches County Road and Bridge Administrator. “We will continue to handle the issues that come up.” Road and bridge crews are focused on making sure roads remain passable, and will begin removing
and hauling off debris and addressing non-critical damages, like avoidable potholes or washed-out areas, as they are able to, Williams said.
The damage to property and infrastructure is significant and is being dealt with as quickly as is safely possible. Minor injuries and some vehicle rescues have been reported both in the city and county. One individual
received a minor laceration to the head when a tree toppled onto their home during the storm on May 30 in the 13000 block of state Hwy. 21 E. on May 30.
“We know this has been a challenging situation for everyone, and we will get things fixed and back in working order,” said County Judge Greg Sowell. “We have had some significant damage, but I am grateful that we haven’t received any reports of fatalities or life-threatening injuries. Everything else can
be repaired.” To report damage to a home, business, or agricultural operation, visit https://damages.tdem.texas.gov. To report damage to a public entity or non-profit, visit https://tinyurl.com/2ta5xcrr.