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Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson 'Stunned' By FEMA's Denial Of Disaster Declaration For Tornado Damage

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - FEMA on Wednesday denied the state's appeal for a major disaster declaration for the damage caused by the October 20-21, 2019 storms that struck North Texas, including the EF-3 tornado that tore through North Dallas.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson sent letters last week to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to bring their attention to the impasse with FEMA.

Without FEMA Reimbursement of Tornado Damages, Dallas Taxpayers Face $45 Million In Uninsured Losses

In April, Governor Greg Abbott formally appealed FEMA's original denial of Major Disaster Declaration request for Public Assistance for Dallas and Erath Counties following severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes in October 2019.

The Governor sent a letter to FEMA asking the federal government to reverse their decision and provide much-needed assistance to local governments and non-profits for infrastructure and recovery efforts.

Mayor Johnson issued the following statement Wednesday night about the denial:

"I am stunned by FEMA's decision and extremely disappointed that our request for assistance became a bureaucratic game at the federal level — one that leaves Dallas taxpayers on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in damage while we are still contending with a pandemic. The EF-3 tornado that struck North Dallas on October 20, 2019, was clearly a major disaster. Anyone who saw the wreckage the morning of October 21 could attest to that.

"I am grateful to our Congressional delegation, including Senators Cornyn and Cruz, for their advocacy on our behalf. I have already spoken to Senator Cornyn, who told me he is not ready to give up on finding relief for our city. We are going to continue to fight for fairness for Dallas taxpayers."

Here is the letter from FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to Gov. Greg Abbott explaining the denial:


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