AUSTIN, Texas ? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $6.9 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to the State of Texas for the acquisition of 57 homes subject to flooding from Hurricane Ike in Jefferson County.
FEMA is contributing 75 percent of the $9.3 million project designed to remove the high-risk structures from the floodplain to reduce future damages. The 25 percent balance is a non-federal share. The State administers the program and recommends which projects should be approved for the pass-through FEMA funding.
Participation in the property acquisition is voluntary on the part of homeowners. The homes substantially damaged during the flooding following Hurricane Ike will be demolished and the cleared land will be allowed to return to its natural state and remain as open space. No permanent residential or commercial structures are allowed on the land after the acquisitions.
This grant was awarded considerably in advance of the normal HMGP approval process, as part of the State's "fast-track" program. Acquisition of the 57 properties and removal of the structures should greatly reduce the threat to life and property.
Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris hailed the approval of this project as a giant step in reducing future damage in the area.
"The families participating in this mitigation program have chosen to relocate knowing they do not have to be rescued in the next disaster and will not face having to rebuild their home again and again," he said.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.