Gov. Abbott announces task force to 'Rebuild Texas' after Harvey

AUSTIN - As Hurricane Harvey's flood waters recede, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced at a press briefing Thursday the creation of a task force to "rebuild Texas."

The "Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas" consists of leaders from various organization including the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of State Health Services, but it will be led by Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp. Funding for the commission comes from each agency that is involved with the task force, Abbott said. The federal government will also contribute, he said.

In an effort to address environmental concerns, Abbott said someone from the EPA will work the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. 

"Our mission is clear," Abbott said in part. "We must help displaced families. We must help our communities rebuild."

Abbott said the commission will be focused on public assistance such as rebuilding infrastructure and individual assistance, which FEMA will handle. He said the task force will help individuals affected by Harvey rebuild and navigate state and federal resources. It will also ensure that state and federal resources work together swiftly.

"If we can do as good a job as average Texans have done" during Harvey recovery, Chancellor Sharp said the task force will be a success.

Following Thursday's press briefing, Sharp said the commission will start meeting with leaders of impacted communities. 

"Local officials know best what the needs of local constituents are," Abbott said as he stressed that they would ensure every local official has the support they need.

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