September 9th, 2011
12:19 PM ET

Lt. governor: Texas needs disaster declaration from Obama

Texas needs an immediate disaster declaration from President Barack Obama allowing access to heavy equipment and other assistance to help battle wildfires burning across the state, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said.

The White House has not responded to the state's previous request, Dewhurst contends, and "we need help yesterday."

There was no immediate response from the White House.

A disaster declaration would give the state access to heavy equipment, personnel, supplies and other support that would help it respond after nearly 300 consecutive days of wildfires, Dewhurst said.

Obama has approved a limited disaster declaration for fires in April and May.

"But this problem has been ongoing since January," Dewhurst said. "And if anything it's gotten worse."

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Filed under: Fire • Texas
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Sorry Fernace but I am not a Perry apologist and I am not backing Perry for President or even for the Republican nomination. However I am stating a fact in that Perry asked for a declaration of disaster from Obama on April 18th and Obama refused it as reported by the Houston Chronicle, say I'm an Obama hater all you want but the truth is the truth and it can't be changed no matter how hard you try to change it.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Houston Chronicle Perry wanted 252 counties out of 262 counties declared disaster. The fires had started in november. Obama and fema said 90 counties. They have been burning almost a year Dave. YOu said you did not live there get over yourself. The had got 20 grant by June, 8 more recently. For a state that hates government they have got more money than their share. They have almost burnt the state down. Maybe they need more firefighters?
      Obama and fema said no to the number of counties, I read it too.

      September 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carolina

    Can't do it. Budget cuts the Repubs and Tea Party held out country hostage in order to get.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • StinkyStu

      So, your just going to abandon all the liberals who have been fighting on the front lines in Texas? With that sort of unity, its a wonder that the Democrats have survived this long. At the very least you could lend an encouraging word, since everyone knows that the loss of Texas (specifically the Port of Houston) would result in the worst economic hardship the United States has ever seen. So, please think before you decide to hand over key pieces of the country to your rivals.

      September 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    @Carolina As I stated above the Republican Party offered a bill of 3.8 billion to fund FEMA in June, Obama asked for 1.8 billion, the congressional Democrats were against it so the bill died in Congress, source is "The Washington Post". So Democrats are just as much to blame.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      @Dave, Washington post sept 6, Dems want 6 billion thats 2.3 billion more than GOPers want to give in the appropriations fund passed in June. With out Irene The disasters this year are at 5.2 Billion. The GOP wants to take the money from coffers that have to do with new energy cars fund.

      September 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kennedy57

    heh angel & fernace u guys r right on re: perry. i have never heard anyone speak of 08 arson that burned the govs mansion n austin. read n the stateman that perry moved his family to cat mountain payin n rent alone over $10,000. he cud have paid much less as huckabee did n AK but NO perry wanted the very best cuz he thinks he is 2%d to none! he is wortthless n my eyes. i love austin 2

    September 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Delegate

    Why would Obama need to declare Texas to be a disaster area? The world has known Texas was a disaster, for decades, ever since JFK was killed there and LBJ, GWB, Paul, Perry, and other such sorts came out of the woods
    to inflict wars on humanity. We all know that Texas is held together and protected from harm by "faith", "prayer", "Fort Hood", and "conservative values". Let these take care of Texas, or not, as may be the case.

    September 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Susan42

    I think Obama should do it. As much as I was on the "Let Texas Burn" band wagon, it really isn't funny anymore. Those are Americans who are losing everything, not just Texans. It's the best reason to have a federal government.....to help each other out. And this should be the end of a Perry candidacy for President. His policies clearly aren't working for Texas and the situation is proving him wrong.

    September 10, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Susan you right, you cannot have it both ways. Either you want help and ask for it. President Obama said any further help he would give it to Perry. Perry always waits till the last minute and then blames Democrats. Where is Perry? When he get's a break from campaigning he'll stop by. People of Texas call the white house and your congress people. Demand more to be done. You have had fires since Nov. 2010. Does this happen every year?

      September 10, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. David

    Ok too many ppl have there own thought's on this well guess what i have mine too !! Rick Perry is in Texas trying to do what he needs to do . And the FIRE's have been going on sence last november not january . And yes TEXAS does need the neccesary help from Oslama Obama what ever u wanna call him . I have family by Austin Tx that has lost there homes in this FIRE thats down there and yes there has been over 3.5 mil acre's of land that has been burned so do something about it Obama and get off your BUTT and stop BS'n around . Now about the floods that have happen this past month its the same as a fire it takes everything away they need help as much as us TEXAN'S do . Why pay taxes if they dont do anything anyways but make or gorverment ppl richer cut there pay raise there taxas not or gas taxas dont u think we pay enough for gas ?

    September 10, 2011 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Look to your local govenment they have been given 20 grants from FEMA and another 8 this week. Maybe your government needs to get off their cans and put some planes in the air. They have the money their playing politics. PRESIDENT Obama has given them what they need. The local government is playing politics and no Gov. Perry has been jet-setting campaigning while Texas Burns. Priorities, not in Texas. He was gone till tues and back on the campaign trail on Wed. Tell him to get his boots on the ground. The Lt. Gov. has been in the paper, not the Gov.

      September 10, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Harry Callahan

    Hey cowboys...where's the courage? Fly the planes and put out the fires now! Don't ask for federal clearance, demand it as you go wheels up.

    September 10, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
    • blueskies7

      They have been fighting the fires...my hubbie is a pilot and has been out numerous times putting out fires. If you don't live here please don't comment because your info is incorrect. The media is wrong too...get your facts from the source about what is going on. And Perry has been here A LOT and he did ask for FEMA aid back in May and got shot down. He also had his border budget cut last year from the government and so he stepped in and used our national guard in the state to help with the drug cartels. He does what he needs to do for our state...regardless of what CNN says. Don't always believe the media...it is false. They couldn't even get the number of helicopters in Bastrop right. They were showing old footage of fires and talking about blackhawks putting out the fires. The chinooks are there and the blackhawks left on the 6th.

      September 11, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Russ

    Less big Government, this is what the tea party wants, The head of the tea party, Saint Rick Perry should hold a prayer vigil for the fires to end, he is in control, let him figure it out without the Feds, he doesn't need the feds remember?

    September 10, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Russ

    Can't Saint Rick Perry operate a fire extinguisher?

    September 10, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    These fires are a direct result of lack of rain & a historic drought! As I stated in an earlier post, Rick Perry is supposed to be in control of my state, but he's slow on the uptake! Fires started in Nov. but didn't classify as problematic til Jan.! In Apr. Perry finally decided to ask for help, a full 6 months after the disaster started! Is that Obamas fault?? FEMA allocated funds pretty much right away! This has nothing to do with blue or red states, or what the federal gov't does! It's about Obama haters who want to find another thing to rag on him about! They refuse to read the facts, but make their "facts" fit the "crime"! The person to blame, if any, has to be the person who has been bestowed with care for a state & its people! That would be Rick Perry!!

    September 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. roqueroq

    Where is Perry hidden ?? I live in Texas and can't believe people think this guy is a leader. Fact Lt Governor making the calls now, American histoty censored in Texas, Tried to use are kids health to make money for himself, Since he has been governor he has been lucky on land deals that just happened to have major projects scheduled, claims to be the reason the oil industry is here. Fact is his bank account is the only thing that is good shape. What happened to Texas wants to break from the union,he wants to bill the federal government for immigration while receiving federal aid??

    September 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. M.K.

    What goes around comes around dont it. Texas should split up in five states and let the ones with good sense occupy one acre of one state, and let the idiots have the rest.

    September 11, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. bigwilliestyles

    'Texas should succede". Rick Perry operating instructions: OPEN MOUTH-INSERT FOOT.

    September 11, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. kennedy57

    did anyone read about the gov's mansion arson in austion n 2008? huge fire n almost destroyed the govenors mansion! perry moved his family to northwest austin on cat mountain & the taxpayers paid $10,000 per month for rent. many ppl were outraged that he chose such an expensive home!! gov perry & family lived there over a year while the mansion was refurbished. this info was reported n the austin american statesman. i have always felt perry is out for perry & his rich cronies...i have lived n austin for 30 yrs n love it but perry has got to go...hes not a good governor!! and wud b a horrible president!

    September 11, 2011 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
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