SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- More than $90 million in disaster recovery funds have been approved for disaster recovery assistance since President Bill Clinton declared the disaster on Oct. 21, 1998 at the request of Governor George W. Bush. "As we go into the New Year, the number of disaster assistance applications continues to rise," said Robert E.Hendrix, Federal Coordinating Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approximately 24,500 individuals and businesses that have applied for assistance will benefit from these disaster recovery funds.
Applications for assistance are still being accepted for damages occurring in the last 12 of 43 declared counties. The application deadline for Grimes, Harris, Jim Wells, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Victoria and Walker counties is just two weeks away, Thursday, Jan. 21, 1999. Persons whose flood-related losses occurred in these counties between Oct. 17 and Nov. 15, 1998 are urged to start the disaster recovery process by calling the toll-free registration number (1-800-462-9029, TTY: 1-800-462-7585) before the deadline.
By close of business Jan.7, 24,543 applications for assistance have been received. Requests for aid include housing assistance, disaster unemployment assistance, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), income tax and social security assistance, veteran's assistance, other serious needs and necessary expenses and flood insurance information.
Two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) remain open to assist individuals who have already registered for disaster assistance. More than 18,233 visits have been recorded since the centers opened at 12 different locations in disaster declared counties. The last two centers remaining open, Cuero and Victoria, continue to give applicants the opportunity to meet with disaster recovery specialists face-to-face about the status of their applications.
Similar help by telephone remains available through the FEMA Helpline (1-800-525-0321, TTY: 1-800-660-8005) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 43,000 calls from applicants with questions on the status of their disaster assistance applications have been answered and referred to appropriate program areas. Questions on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications are referred to 1-800-366-6303, available Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- 4,592 families and individuals have been approved by the Texas Department of Human Services to receive $20,061,222 in state-administered, FEMA- and state-funded grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by other assistance programs.
- 15,190 checks totaling $25.5 million have been approved for minor home repairs or temporary rental assistance.
- $45.7 million in SBA loans have been approved for 1,356 homeowners, renters and businesses.
Following is a list of the 43 Texas counties declared eligible for federal and state disaster assistance and the number of applications received in each of those counties:
Fort Bend 153
Jim Wells* 59
San Jacinto* 270
San Patricio 270