NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Twelve Deep East Texas counties are seeking help to pay for damages left by May floods which only got worse when Tropical Storm Bill showed up.
Nacogdoches and Angelina counties were the last to hear the well-rehearsed presentation by state emergency management coordinators.
State disaster recovery officers have given the presentation so many times that by the last day confusion as to who they're addressing can be forgiven.
"We have a request for public assistance form," said Creig Romero, an assistant recovery officer with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. "We've already received it from San Jacinto County, no Angelina County. Excuse me."
Actually, he's talking to Nacogdoches County government leaders, but like all the others they're anxious to get the application process rolling on Disaster Relief 4223.
"The incident period started May 4 and it stopped June 19," Romero said.
That statement immediately led to the number one question on county leaders' minds, will all the paper work apply toward an additional million dollars in damages left by Tropical Storm Bill.
"I can tell you Tropical Storm Bill is a completely separate incident," said Sherri Copeland, a state section administrator.
That at this point, hasn't even been declared a disaster by FEMA.
"We understand the complexity. FEMA understands the complexity of separating the incidents so we're working through that," Copeland said.
In the meantime, officials are given a very strong directive.
"Document everything you spend time and money on," said Ruby Bradshaw, a state recovery officer.
"I am prepared either way," said Doyle Williams, Nacogdoches County's road administrator. "We've finished our initial assessment for May, so I feel comfortable with that. Any additions we added from Tropical Storm Bill I've got that as well."
"We wouldn't have had the damages from Bill if we wouldn't have had the May severe weather, so there's definitely a gray area there," said Tara Triana Nacogdoches County's emergency management coordinator.
What is clear is that Nacogdoches County officials estimates over $2 million in road damages occurred in May and June, a cost beyond the current county budget.