Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor Perry Appeals FEMA Denial Of Assistance For Queen Isabella Causeway Collapse

Tuesday, November 20, 2001  •  Press Release

AUSTIN - Governor Rick Perry announced today that he has formally appealed the Federal Emergency Management Administration's denial of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for Cameron County following the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway - the only link between South Padre Island and the Texas mainland.

Perry made his request for DUA assistance in October noting the negative effects of the September 15th causeway collapse to tourist-related businesses and employment. FEMA notified the Governor's Office earlier this month that the request had been denied.

In a letter to President George W. Bush, Perry said that federal assistance through DUA would help those ineligible for state unemployment benefits.

"The DUA program could provide assistance for individuals not currently eligible for unemployment assistance," Perry wrote. "This assistance would address the unmet needs of the sole-proprietors and other self-employed small business people, and provide assistance to those whose unemployment benefits have been exhausted."

The Queen Isabella Causeway was left severely damaged with several sections of the structure missing following a barge accident on September 15. Perry will join local and state officials and the Texas Department of Transportation on Wednesday to formally re-open the bridge, a month ahead of the December 23rd completion date called for in the original repair contract signed in September.

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