WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday received a briefing from Burnet and Llano County officials on flood recovery efforts and surveyed communities in Central Texas recently affected by flooding. He was joined by local officials, including Burnet County Judge James Oakley, Llano County Judge Mary Cunningham, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), state Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Texas), and state Rep. Terry Wilson (R-Texas).
Still photos and video of Sen. Cruz’s visit may be viewed here.
When asked about the rebuilding process, Sen. Cruz noted the bipartisan cooperation of the Texas delegation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the more recent flooding events.
“I was amazed at the bipartisan cooperation we saw in the wake of Harvey,” Sen. Cruz said. “Harvey now goes down in history as the second most costly natural disaster in U.S. history. And we had bipartisan cooperation. We had four major disaster relief bills that came through Congress, three providing relief, one providing emergency tax relief, which I authored in the Senate. And we saw Democrats and Republicans come together. And part of it was – one of the things the Texas delegation agreed on early, is we were going to keep the focus on disaster relief. We weren’t going to open it up to just whatever unrelated spending project somebody might have. We were going to focus on, what did the disaster cause? What is the harm? And how do we respond to that? We were going to keep it focused on that but also build in a way that is long term resilient. I think that is the right approach. It enabled us to keep bipartisan agreement and to get other states that were impacted by that storm to come together. And I’m confident whether it is that disaster or dealing with the flooding here that we’ll stay focused.”
Sen. Cruz also encouraged Texans to heed the warnings of local officials, know their evacuation route, and avoid high water areas.
“The first concern is getting people out of harm’s way,” Sen. Cruz said. “If there is more flooding that comes, and some of the weather reports suggest that may be coming, then please take seriously if an evacuation order is given – don’t risk it. Don’t think that you can make it through. One gentleman we spoke with just earlier this afternoon, he said he had 12 feet of water in his house. And I have to admit the man was shaken. And he just said it was terrifying. None of us are stronger than 12 feet of water. And let me say also if you’re driving and you see deep water – don’t risk it. In floods, historically the most frequent cause for loss of life is someone in a car or truck, they see water, and they think, ‘I can make it through.’ And they drive in and it’s deeper than they think. And you get carried away. You can lose control and it’s not worth risking yourself, it’s not worth risking your family. So take evacuation orders seriously and monitor the news.”
When asked about what Texans can do to help Texans affected by the flooding, Sen. Cruz praised the churches, charities, and organizations who are engaged with the relief efforts.
“There are a lot of things you can do to help out,” Sen. Cruz said. “One of the things you can do – we have wonderful charities and organizations. The Red Cross is on the ground. In every disaster they do terrific work. Team Rubicon – I have worked with Team Rubicon helping clean out homes. They do terrific work. You’ve got a lot of veterans who volunteer with Team Rubicon. You’ve got Samaritans Purse, you’ve got churches, you’ve got other charities that are engaged. And you’ve also just got people. One of the great things – one of the real strengths of Texas is the churches we have. And at a time of disaster you just see churches and pastors and communities that step forward and say we’re going to go help. We’re going to go pull on some jeans and an old t-shirt and get in there and get a shovel and clean out the mud. That’s a wonderful thing to see. So whether you’re helping by giving money, whether you’re helping with your time, whether you’re helping simply by lifting these communities up in prayer – all of it makes a difference, and all of us can help out.”