Commission To Rebuild Texas Update: Issue 9
Hurricane Harvey impacted more square miles of Texas than the combined land mass of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. And the massive cleanup continues across the region, from our smallest communities to the larger cities where local leaders are working tirelessly for their citizens. The emergency state funding allocation approved this week will help alleviate some of the financial burden on them. I thank the Comptroller and members of the Texas Legislature for their work in securing this much-needed aid to help offset the local cost-share for debris removal.
We are listening to our local leaders, and we continue to work with our federal partners to secure more and faster funding. The road to recovery is long, but progress is being made. And each day brings new hope.
– Governor Greg Abbott
Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas
- Governor Abbott and leaders of the Texas Legislature announced approval of $90 million in emergency state funding to help disaster-declared counties pay for debris removal following Hurricane Harvey. In most cases, even with federal disaster assistance, cities and counties are responsible for ten percent of debris removal costs. The funds will be administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in coordination with the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
- $478.2 million in Public Assistance funding from FEMA for state and local governments has been obligated, and 914 Requests for Public Assistance have been received from jurisdictions, as of Nov. 8.
- Because of the Commission staff’s daily outreach in impacted communities, as of Nov. 9, roughly 3,399 reports have been submitted from the field to the Assistance Center at Texas A&M. From those reports, the Assistance Center identified 614 issues needing follow-up or resolution, and all have been resolved.
- TDEM reports more than 9.4 million cubic yards of debris have been collected, estimated at 34 percent of the total.
- Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush visited Conn Brown Harbor along with U.S. Coast Guard Commander Tedd Hutley and Aransas Pass Harbor Master Chuck West to mark near completion of the effort to remove crippled or sunken vessels following Hurricane Harvey. The cleanup also included recovery of 57,000 gallons of oil and removal of 8,200 pounds of hazardous materials. Most of the 679 vessels salvaged or recovered after the storm were in waters of the Coastal Bend.
- $7.66 billion in federal funds have been provided directly to Texans, including FEMA grants to households, National Flood Insurance Program claims payments and SBA disaster loans, as of Nov. 8.
- 887,146 individual assistance applications have been received as of Nov. 8. FEMA’s deadline to register for Individual Disaster Assistance is now Nov. 30, 2017
- 48,439 individuals are taking advantage of FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance, as of Nov. 9. Survivors staying in hotels under the program may be eligible to stay longer—the new deadline is Nov. 27, 2017. TSA guests will receive a phone call to let them know if they are eligible for the extension and what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new hotel.
- 172,116 individuals have visited Disaster Recovery Centers for assistance, as of Nov. 8; for current locations and mobile units visit fema.gov/DRC or download the FEMA app fema.gov/mobile-app.
- FEMA has completed 557,338 inspections, as of Nov. 8.
- For help with questions about insurance claims or settlements, or to report suspected insurance fraud, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439. FEMA is hosting a Facebook LIVE event on Wed., Nov. 15, at 11 a.m., along with the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Unit.
- The filing deadline for loans from the Small Business Administration for property damage is Nov. 24, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 25, 2018. disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
- Members of the General Land Office staff are in the Rockport area turning over Manufactured Housing Units to families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
- TexasRebuilds.com is the housing information source for individuals and communities.
- Workforce Solutions Offices statewide have enrolled 221 disaster-affected participants and placed 51 participants in temporary jobs, as well as provided career services and training to 234 participants.
- Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast reports 227 individuals attended the “Turn Around Houston” and “On the Spot Hiring Event” with the City of Houston on Nov. 2, and more than 190 conditional job offers were extended.
- Texas Workforce Commission has more than 11,000 disaster-related job openings available on HurricaneHarvey.jobs and WorkInTexas.com.
- TWC has identified more than 21,500 Hurricane Harvey impacted jobs seekers in WorkInTexas.com.
- $65.6 million in TWC disaster unemployment benefits and $7.8 million in federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance have been provided to Texans, as of Nov. 6.
- Mon., Nov. 13, 2017, is the final day to apply for disaster-related unemployment benefits for Caldwell and Grimes counties.
- Education Commissioner Mike Morath testified to the Senate Education Committee on November 6 and the House Appropriations Committee on Nov. 8 about the impact of Hurricane Harvey to Texas public schools.
- Sixteen districts have submitted an instructional materials needs list to the Hurricane Harvey Instructional Materials Assistance online registry. Of those, four districts have had their lists fulfilled and nine districts have seen their lists partially fulfilled. Nine Texas districts and one Wisconsin district have donated materials to these districts. For more information about how to submit needs or fulfill needs, please visit tea.texas.gov/Academics/Hurricane_Harvey_Instructional_Materials_Assistance/.
Texans Helping Texans
- 24,528 Harvey survivors have called the Cleanup Assistance Hotline at 844-965-1386. Volunteer groups have completed 17,087 requests to muck and gut flood-damaged homes.
- More than 3.2 million volunteer service hours have been recorded by Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster members. These volunteer hours are carefully tracked and can be applied to a community’s cost-share offset if eligibility requirements are met as determined by FEMA’s Public Assistance program.
- Rebuild Texas Fund now totals $86.7 million: RebuildTx.org.
“It makes me proud to be living in a state where the people are truly a community watching out for each other,” says Connie Hawes, finance director of the City of Cuero. As in every town in Harvey’s path, city staff worked tirelessly and emergency responders heroically rescued residents in peril. “It was wonderful to see the teamwork and camaraderie in time of need. The citizens of Cuero came together to help one another, giving of themselves through volunteering or donating food, clothes and transportation,” she added. Though the storm destroyed approximately 1,500 trees and the city has collected over 36,000 cubic yards of debris, “Cuero is almost back to normal, and we pray for those in other communities who are still struggling.”