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Governor Perry's Statement on Incident in West, Texas

Thursday, April 18, 2013 • Austin, Texas

Governor Rick Perry released the following statement regarding the incident in West, Texas:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, and the first responders on the scene. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. We continue to closely monitor developments and gather information as details continue to emerge about this incident.”

Gov. Rick Perry also met with state officials to discuss Texas' response to last night's explosion and fires at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. State officials worked through the night and this morning to assist local emergency management and law enforcement with health and medical resources, incident management, search and rescue and environmental quality monitoring, which are ongoing.

"We are blessed in Texas to have the best emergency response teams in the nation, and they were certainly at their best last night, quickly and efficiently taking control of the situation, tending to the wounded and helping keep a bad situation from getting worse," Gov. Perry said. "Anyone who grew up in a small town understands that this tragedy will touch every family in West and the surrounding communities in some way. I urge all Texans and Americans to join me in keeping the people of West and our first responders in your prayers as this situation continues to unfold."

"Once again, our state's first responders have run toward disaster, putting their lives on the line for those they protect and serve," Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said. "We will continue to pray for them and the countless Texans whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy."

Activated state resources include:

Individuals looking for information or assistance may dial the Texas Information Referral Network at 2-1-1. To donate to the Texas Disaster Relief Fund, please visit http://www.texasdisasterrelieffund.org or call 1-866-463-7982.

The State Operations Center has been activated to support emergency response operations, and will continue to monitor the situation.

Then later he issued a proclamation which reads:

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:

I, RICK PERRY, Governor of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the explosion that occurred in West, Texas, on April 17, 2013, has caused a disaster in McLennan County in the State of Texas.

THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby declare a state of disaster in the county listed above based on the existence of such disaster and direct that all necessary measures, both public and private as authorized under Section 418.017 of the code, be implemented to meet that disaster.

As provided in Section 418.016 of the code, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this disaster are suspended for the duration of the state of disaster.

In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 18th day of April, 2013.

RICK PERRY
Governor of Texas