McALLEN, Texas -- A month after Hurricane Dolly wreaked havoc in the Rio Grande Valley, more than $26.1 million has been approved to help those individuals, families, businesses and infrastructure affected by the storm.
The Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that $26,084,092.00 has been approved to help individuals and households in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties.
"Everyone who sustained damages as a result of Hurricane Dolly in the federally declared counties should register for disaster assistance with FEMA," said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman, who leads the agency's program in Texas. "Registering with other agencies or groups such as the American Red Cross or Texas 2-1-1 won't get you registered with FEMA, and our goal is to get help to all eligible applicants. So don't determine your own eligibility, let us do that, that's why we're here," Coachman added.
There are also groups called Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster or long-term recovery groups that will assist in the long-term recovery. "These are grass-roots voluntary organizations and agencies that will be here for the long run," Texas State Coordinating Officer Frank Cantu said.
Under FEMA's Public Assistance (infrastructure) Program, state agencies, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations that provide essential services in Aransas, Bexar, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria and Willacy counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance.
Here is a summary of state and federal assistance to individuals, businesses, and public infrastructure as of Friday, Aug. 22:
- A total of 32,084 individuals and households have applied for disaster assistance from FEMA since President Bush initially declared a major disaster declaration on July 24. Individual and Households Assistance was added to the declaration July 31.
- To date, $20,563,682.87 has been approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- More than $3,543,500.27 to help cover personal property loss, medical costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance to individuals and households has been approved.
- FEMA's Public Assistance Program or infrastructure assistance has received 93 requests for public assistance projects. To date, $1,976,910.00 has been obligated.
- To date there have been 31 applications made for federally subsidized Unemployment Compensation.
- The SBA has approved more than $1.2 million in low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, business owners and non profit organizations damaged by the storm.
- As of Friday, 7,946 people impacted by the disaster have met with recovery specialists at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) set up throughout hurricane-stricken areas to provide one-to-one help for individuals with disaster-related needs. These DRCs are operated jointly by FEMA, Texas and other federal agencies.
- FEMA-contracted housing inspectors have completed nearly 26,858 housing inspections to date.
- Community Relations specialists have visited more than 11,130 homes and worked throughout the declared counties to help identify and assist those affected by the hurricane. As of Thursday, Aug. 21, they have met with more than:
- 6,793 residents
- 480 residents with insurance
- 1,239 businesses
- 325 faith-based groups
- 108 community organizations
- 40 schools ...