Cameron, Willacy counties declared disaster areas

RAYMONDVILLE — Gov. Greg Abbott has declared Cameron and Willacy counties disaster areas.

Now, the counties might qualify for federal dollars aimed at helping them recover from damage amid the worst flooding in decades.

“Monday evening’s severe thunderstorms have had lingering impacts on communities across Cameron County in the form of severe flooding and property damage,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. stated yesterday.

“Because of this, I took the initiative (Tuesday) to submit a disaster declaration to state authorities,” he stated.

In Raymondville, Willacy County Judge Aurelio Guerra requested the declaration while Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales asked Abbott to also declare the city a disaster area.

“It’s because of all the flooding and all the damage,” Gonzales said.

On Tuesday, floodwaters covered as much as 70 percent of Raymondville streets, Andres Chavez, the city’s code enforcement director, said at the time.

“It might have gone down a little bit,” Gonzales said yesterday evening, referring to water levels. “Our drainage ditches are running over-capacity.”

City officials, he said, have not determined the extent of damage within the city, where many homes are believed to have sustained water damage.