Two Years Later, FEMA is Still Focused on Hurricane Rita Recovery

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Release date: 
September 20, 2007
Release Number: 
1606-288

AUSTIN, Texas -- On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita made landfall along the Texas coast as a powerful Category 3 storm. The devastating results across the region demanded a recovery process that continues two years after the powerful wind and rain event came ashore.

Immediately after Rita hit the coast, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began intense disaster response operations. FEMA provided needed supplies and coordinated numerous federal agencies to support the State of Texas for months after the storm. Thousands of emergency responders continued to make Southeast Texas their home as the state shifted from response to recovery operations.

Today, FEMA works to help Southeast Texas recover from Hurricane Rita. FEMA staff remains in the region for the development of community infrastructure projects and to support the nearly two thousand families who still receive FEMA housing assistance.

Southeast Texas continues to recover but the successes from the past two years should also be noted.

  • Since Hurricane Rita, more than $521 million has been approved to cover rental assistance, temporary lodging, and housing repairs for 224,523 eligible applicants in Texas.

  • More than $94 million in Other Needs Assistance (ONA) was approved for 81,123 Texas applicants to cover their personal property loss, medical costs, and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $380 million in low-interest disaster loans to residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Rita. The SBA provides low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes.

  • Overall, 424,696 people affected by Hurricane Rita met with recovery experts at the Disaster Recovery Centers set up throughout the affected region to answer questions and provide help.

  • At one time, 4,605 temporary housing units were used to house families left homeless by Hurricane Rita. Today, there are 932 families living in temporary housing supplied by FEMA in Texas.

  • To date, 7,126 Project Worksheets of infrastructure plans for FEMA Public Assistance have been received from applicant communities. These projects total more than $398 million ($398,674,786) in reimbursements for local governments that provided eligible emergency protective services, debris removal and the repair and rebuilding of infrastructure after Hurricane Rita.

  • FEMA obligated $103 million to Texas after Hurricane Rita under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. These funds are directed toward long-term projects that mitigate future disaster costs and protect communities against similar disasters. The state continues develop projects for those funds.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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