City leaders preparing recovery efforts after historic flooding

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City of Houston helping in recovery efforts, Deborah Wrigley reports. (KTRK)

Though evacuations continued through Tuesday in some parts of the greater Houston area, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner turned his attention to the city's recovery from the second historic flood within the past year.

Beginning his remarks with thanks to uncounted, and often anonymous volunteers who helped evacuate people from danger and flooded homes and apartments, the mayor announced teams of inspectors are now touring areas overtaken by more than a foot of rain Monday.

"Some of the apartments and homes may have to be rebuilt to new standards," Turner said. "Complexes may have to build higher."

More than 300 people remain in four shelters in the hardest-hit areas. Even though large apartment complexes were flooded, there were and are people who don't want to leave.

"I know there are some who want to move back to their homes, but they may not be habitable, so we're looking for permanent or temporary housing for them. We're not going to leave them stranded."

The city's Housing and Community Development Department is looking for available housing for those on rent subsidies.

In addition, Turner said the city is trying to address debris disposal before it becomes a problem. Disposal contractors have been notified, and city neighborhood depositories will be open 7 days a week.

Among the other recovery efforts outlined by the Mayor:

- Public works and building inspectors are going through flood-damaged properties in the city
- Mobile locations will be provided for permits needed for repair
- A disaster declaration by the city of Houston is being submitted to the state today. It will be included in the declaration request sent to Washington
- A donation fund is being set up by the city for those wishing to give money to recovery efforts. A website is being set up for that purpose
- Representative Sheila Jackson Lee is asking that the HUD secretary and FEMA Director visit Houston to tour the damage
- A meeting for flood victims is being planned in coming days at a north Houston church

The mayor plans to look for ways to purchase more high profile trucks that can go into high water. The city currently has four. Others had to be loaned from other agencies, including Texas Task Force 1 to rescue people stranded in flooded homes.

"We're continuing to look at that. In hindsight, there's no question they're needed," added Turner.

PHOTOS: Severe weather across southeast Texas
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