With disaster still underway, aid for Imelda victims undecided

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ByTed Oberg via KTRK logo
Saturday, September 21, 2019
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Aid for Imelda victims still up in the air

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It could be weeks before flooded Texans know if federal disaster aid is coming their way.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state disaster as Imelda moved in, but only a federal declaration comes with financial aid for victims, and that decision hasn't been made yet.

Cities and counties are gathering preliminary damage assessments by counting damaged homes, businesses and government facilities. Each city or county has its own threshold to qualify.

Statewide, the Texas Department of Emergency Management tells ABC13 about 800 homes would have to have suffered major damage or be destroyed AND be uninsured or under-insured to qualify for FEMA Individual Aid.

That program comes with immediate grants and the possibility of rebuilding assistance.

Chambers County believes it has 800 damaged homes or businesses alone. Other counties are still conducting those assessments.

Aid could come for local governments that suffered damage; schools, roads or government buildings all apply.

Statewide, Texas would have to tally $37 million in government damage to qualify for FEMA's Public Assistance program.

All of that work should hopefully be complete next week. If the state qualifies, the decision would be up to President Donald Trump to declare a disaster in Texas.

In the meantime, there are things you can do:

If you have flood insurance, call the agent that sold you the policy immediately (if you haven't already).

Montgomery County residents with damage to their homes should call (936) 523-3916 to report damage to be included in the county's assessment.


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