WEST RECOVERING AFTER TRAGIC EXPLOSION, REBUILDING TO
Commissioner Staples surveys City of West, Texas damage; offers recovery assistance from the Texas Department of Agriculture
AUSTIN — In the wake of the fire and fertilizer plant explosion that destroyed parts of West, Texas and left the community grieving, including the families of the first responders who perished on the scene, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today traveled to West to survey damage and determine how the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) can best assist the people of West as recovery efforts continue. Due to a lack of personnel and resources, rural communities are greatly impacted during crisis situations.
“I want to acknowledge all of the emergency personnel, Mayor Tommy Muska, West city officials and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton and County Commissioners for their ongoing efforts to provide relief during this terrible tragedy,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. “Without question, this was a major catastrophic accident. Events such as this have a tremendous effect on small, tight-knit communities and my prayers go out to the people of West. As the investigation continues into the cause of the fire and explosion, I hope West residents can take comfort in the fact that Texans are standing with them.”
As a result of the explosion, the City of West may require assistance repairing public infrastructure damage, securing adequate temporary housing for displaced residents and help for economic losses suffered by businesses damaged in the explosion.
TDA’s Office of Rural Affairs is already in contact with the City of West to determine recovery needs. In addition, TDA offers disaster assistance programs and grants through our Community Development Block Grant Program for Rural Texas. For more information about TDA grants services, visit www.texasagriculture.gov/GrantsServices.
Due to the overwhelming response of people donating various goods in support of the people of West, city officials are encouraging those wanting to help to consider cash donations. Visit the American Red Cross, Heart of Texas Chapter, the Texas Disaster Relief Fund, The Salvation Army or POINTWEST Bank for more information about how to help. Make sure to indicate donations support West, Texas.
The Office of the Texas State Chemist regulates the fertilizer industry in Texas and has mobilized to assist with the response to this incident. For questions regarding the fertilizer industry, contact the Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control service, which operates out of The Office of the Texas State Chemist at (979) 845-1121.