Bush Declares Disaster Areas in Texas Iowa and Minnesota
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush issued Thursday disaster declarations for Texas, Iowa and Minnesota, making them eligible for federal aid in cleaning up heavy storm and flooding damage.
Bush planned to inspect Texas flood damage Friday before beginning a three- day quail hunting vacation, a White House official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The aide said Bush would fly over the hardest hit areas near Wharton and might view some from the ground.
Disaster declarations make businesses and individuals in stricken areas eligible for low cost government loans, housing assistance and in some cases outright grants.
The declarations cover:
- The Texas counties of Bastrop, Bosque, Brown, Dallas and Travis which were struck by severe thunderstorms and flooding beginning last week.
- Thirty-nine counties in Iowa that were struck by a severe ice storm on Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
- The Minnesota counties of Blue Earth, Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Mower, Olmstead, Rice, Steele and Waseca.
Bush will remain in Texas through Sunday morning, quail-hunting on a ranch near Beeville owned by his longtime friend, millionaire businessman Will Farish.