Perry appeals denial of disaster assistance

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Texas has appealed the federal government’s denial of disaster assistance for 15 counties — including Denton County — that were slammed by a December ice storm.

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday appealed on behalf of Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Palo Pinto, Parker, Red River and Tarrant counties.

Perry’s office estimates total response costs and damage topped $48 million. Denton County and area cities estimated they spent a combined $1.2 million.

Perry said the severe wintry weather that began Dec. 5 and lasted five days in Denton created a strain on finances and resources in the Texas communities.

More than a quarter of a million homes and businesses in North Texas lost electricity during the storm that closed schools, delayed flights and made driving treacherous.

The arctic blast brought ice and sleet starting Dec. 5 in Denton County and kept temperatures in the 20s or below for several days.

Movement was gridlocked, and long lines of tractor-trailer trucks stalled along Interstate 35 put Denton on the map as one of the hardest-hit areas in North Texas. I-35 was eventually closed between Denton and Oklahoma.

One woman died when her truck spun out on the ice and plunged into Lewisville Lake, and the 25th Denton Holiday Lighting Festival was canceled because of the bad weather.

Local schools were closed for days, the first in a series of closings caused by icy conditions this winter season.

This article contains material from The Associated Press and from Denton Record-Chronicle archives.


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