A Smith County emergency declaration will help Lindale area residents recover from a tornado that caused minimal damage and assist Van Zandt County in getting state aid.
On Monday, the Smith County Commissioners Court ratified an emergency declaration, which was originally declared by County Judge Nathaniel Moran on May 1. Under state law, the emergency declaration is good for up to seven days and must be ratified by the Commissioners Court to continue.
Moran said the declaration is twofold. If the county declares an emergency, then any damage totals in the county can be combined with Canton and other counties. If the damage reaches a certain threshold, federal emergency aid will become available.
It also would allow residents in the Lindale area to apply for Small Business Association loans to help rebuild.
“Smith County did not receive near the damage that Van Zandt County received, but we do this declaration so that if our residents want to tap into some of that assistance, they are able to - and so that the damage done in Smith County can be counted as part of accrual total damage.”
On April 29, a storm produced tornadoes in the area, ranging from an EF-0 to EF-4.
Four people died in the storm that spread across Van Zandt, Smith, Rains and Hopkins Counties.