Obama Offers Perry Federal Aid for West, Texas, Disaster Relief

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According to the Houston Chronicle, President Barack Obama pledged to Texas Gov. Rick Perry that the full resources of the federal government would be made available for aid and recovery in the wake of the West, Texas, disaster.

Obama pledges aid

The Houston Chronicle reports that Obama made a phone call to Perry while traveling on Air Force One to the memorial for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, pledging full support from federal agencies such as FEMA for recovery efforts in West, Texas. In relation to the events in West, the White House released the following statement:

"Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night's deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives. I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded. My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people."

Recovery efforts in West continue

The Houston Chronicle also reports that at least 12 bodies have thus far been recovered in the aftermath of the explosion, some of them firefighters and other first responders who had been fighting the fire at the fertilizer plant. Efforts to search the devastated area of West for more bodies and trapped people continue. The one fatality that has been identified is Kenny Harris a Dallas Fire Department captain who lived south of West. Though off duty, Harris had volunteered to help fight the fire at the fertilizer plant.

Texas tea party groups mobilize for aid to West, Texas

Breitbart Big Government reports that various Texas tea party groups are mobilizing to collect aid for West and the victims of the disaster. The effort is being coordinated by an organization called Citizens Patriot Response, which assists communities in need. A list of items needed has been posted on the Waco tea party website. The list includes pre-paid cell phones and gift cards for supermarkets, department stores, and gasoline. A call has also been made for people to volunteers to give people who have lost their automobiles rides to shelters, hospitals, and to get needed supplies.

Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.

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