By Matthew Hamill
Assistant News Director
“Today Texans are hurting,” were Senator Ted Cruz’s first words to the media as they gathered at the San Marcos Police Department.
San Marcos, Wimberley and Houston are just some of the cities devastated by the recent storms that have plagued Texas. Cruz described the damage he personally witnessed as “unimaginable.”
“I saw a large concrete bridge that the Blanco River took out all together. Picked up two massive slabs of concrete and flung them aside like a paper airplane. This river had an over forty-foot wall of water that demolished everything in its sight,” said Cruz after touring the Blanco River.
After expressing gratitude to all of the first responders, Cruz decided to highlight actions that demonstrate the strength and grit of the people of Texas.
It is uplifting to see how Texans respond to a disaster like this. To see Texans coming together, working together.
The United States Senator from Texas described what he saw in Wimberley: people picking up debris in their front yard, volunteers offering a helping hand and a community coming together to help families who lost their homes or worse.
“Another woman who was with the homeowners’ association, she had gone and paid for several large dumpsters, just put it on her own credit card, so that there would be a place to start depositing some of the wreckage,” said Cruz.
Not only has this natural disaster brought the people of Texas together, it also has all branches of Government working together from the county level all the way to the federal government.
As far as federal relief is concerned, Texas is moving forward.
“The Governor has entered a disaster declaration, which is the first step in federal emergency relief. There are a series of statutory thresholds that have to be satisfied initially,” said Cruz.
The Senator added that based on the scale of the damage we are seeing around the state those thresholds will likely be met. Cruz then said that he will need a unified legislature to attain federal aid, which he is assured will happen.
“And I am confident that the Texas Congressional Delegation will stand united … that democrats and republicans in the congressional delegation will stand as one in support of the Federal Government meeting its statutory obligations to provide the relief to help the Texans who are hurting,” said Cruz.
Beyond local fire departments, police departments and other emergency response teams, the state of Texas is providing every possible asset to help the affected areas.
Senator Cruz was briefed on a conversation between the Texas Governor Greg Abbott and President Obama. According to Abbott, the President has committed to ensuring the Federal Government will step in and help as well.
Of course, such aid still has to pass the Fed’s statutory thresholds. Cruz assured that his office is doing everything in its power to expedite that process.
Cruz was adamant that the focus of this event should be coming together and helping those in need to rebuild homes and lives. The Senator did not want to dwell on global warming.
“At a time of tragedy I think it’s wrong to try to politicize a natural disaster,” said Cruz when asked his stance on global warming.
With more rain in the forecast and tornadoes touching down across the state, this bad weather event is not over. However, there is something to be said about the resilience of Texans.
And together 27 million Texans, we are lifting up the families of those who have lost loved ones … and we are standing together as one.