State senator adds support for disaster declaration
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Aug. 26, 2005 -- State Sen. Bob Deuell of Greenville has added his support to a request made by Hopkins County to Gov. Rick Perry for a disaster declaration for the county because of the prolonged drought and extremely hot conditions.

Sen. Deuell, who represents Hopkins County in the Texas Senate, Thursday called upon Gov. Rick Perry’s office to issue the drought-related disaster designations for Hunt and Hopkins counties.

In his letter to the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, Deuell made the case for quick action.

“In light of the ongoing impact of the extreme drought conditions, I am sure you will agree that such a designation is crucial,” Deuell wrote.

Deuell also made the case for additional counties in Northeast Texas counties to be reviewed.

“I would like to add a request that surrounding counties in the Northeast Texas area be reviewed for potential disaster designation,” Deuell wrote. “In traveling throughout the eastern portions of Senate District Two, I have witnessed firsthand the meager level of hay production and the many cattle on the verge of acute distress due to the overgrazing of available pasture.”

The disaster designation, if granted by the governor, would make farmers and ranchers in the county eligible to apply for a number of federal programs, including the Emergency Loan Program, Crop Disaster Program and Livestock Assistance Program.

The Emergency Loan Program can provide loans up to $500,000, according to Ellis Dicus, farm loan manager in the Farm Service Agency office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Sulphur Springs.

Both the Crop Disaster Program and the Livestock Assistance Program can provide support payments or subsidy payments to county producers that meet requirements of the programs.

There has been no indication when the governor would consider the request for assistance.

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