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Brown County commissioners extend disaster declaration for 10 days

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BROWN COUNTY, Texas - Brown County commissioners on Monday approved extending the disaster declaration for another 10 days.

The original one was set to expire Tuesday and would impact how much federal support the county could receive.

Brown and other Big Country counties have been plagued with flooding in the wake of recent heavy rains.

"From the time I issued the initial disaster declaration [last] Tuesday, there has been continued rain and the possibility of more rain," County Judge Ray West said.

"The period that is covered under the declaration has a direct effect on the damage [Federal Emergency Management Agency] will reimburse us on."

West said there's no estimate yet on the damages to the county.

"We have no idea yet," West said. "It will take a long time before we have one."

He said most of the damage was to roads and bridges located in Precinct 2 and Precinct 4.

Joel Kelton, Precinct 2 commissioner, said people should be patient while waiting for help.

"It's going to take some time," Kelton said. "We have about 100 miles each of gravel road and about 100 miles each of paved road, some [of which] we have been unable to see because it's underwater. There are several that have been washed out, it takes time."

Precinct 4 commissioner Larry Traweek also urged the public to be patient at Monday's meeting.

"Several precincts are in bad shape, and we ask the public to bear with us as we get it together," Traweek said.

Brown County wasn't included in Gov. Greg Abbott's June 1 disaster declaration in which he listed 31 counties in states of disaster.

But West said that won't impact the county getting FEMA help.

"Just because it wasn't in the email doesn't mean we didn't declare," West said. "I was out of town the week prior to Memorial Day… my assumption is that counties in the original list had already sent in their declaration Friday. When I got to the office Tuesday, I immediately sent it."

Five county roads remained closed Monday in Brown County: CR 444, CR 476, CR 477, CR 496, and CR 593.

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