Brown County Judge Paul Lilly appeals to governor for assistance in storm recovery

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Paul Lilly

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly sent a letter Friday to Gov. Greg Abbott's office saying the county needs state and/or federal funds to recover from the "tremendous physical and economic losses" from the Feb.14-21 winter storm.

Lilly told the governor:

• An estimated 260 homes and/or businesses were damaged due to water leaks resulting from broken water pipes, as well as power surges and loss of electrical service.

• The storm left 220 families in need of temporary housing and other individual assistance.

• Forty businesses sustained significant uninsured losses, creating a severe impact on jobs, production and revenue

• Public utilities are impacted to the extent that more than 2,000 homes/businesses were left without water and/or electricity.

• Twenty-four sustained major damage from the freeze-thaw cycle. It is estimated that road and bridge damage will exceed $3.5 million.

"It is my belief that the damage to homes, businesses, public works and utility systems due to the extended freezing temperatures, loss of water and electricity constitutes a public health and safety hazard," Lilly's letter states. "I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond Brown County's capability to recover without supplementary state and/or federal assistance.

"Additionally, I certify that Brown County does not have local funding available to make the needed repairs and to provide these citizens with effective relief."