AUSTIN, Texas -- Federal assistance to help Texans recover from the Hurricane Ike disaster has topped $2 billion, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Friday.
The disaster assistance - in the form of grants and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - now totals just over $2 billion, and continues to increase daily as communities, homeowners, renters and business owners move forward with their recovery efforts, said officials from FEMA and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management.
"The $2 billion mark is an important milestone in the Hurricane Ike recovery effort," said Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris. "Those dollars have helped put roofs over displaced Texans' heads and they have contributed to the recovery from storm-related losses. They also have helped get roads cleared and repaired, communities operating and much more."
- More than $526.4 million has been disbursed for disaster assistance under the Individuals and Households Program. This includes $406.4 million in Housing Assistance and $120.4 million in Other Needs Assistance. Additionally, Texans who lost jobs as a result of the storm have received a total of nearly $6.8 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
- FEMA has paid more than $96 million for the hotel stays of displaced Texans under the Transitional Sheltering Program.
- Total Public Assistance grants to the state, to local governments and nonprofit groups total $773.9 million. Included in that total is $360.5 million for debris removal, $335.4 million for emergency protective measures, and $69.4 million for repairs to roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, public utilities, and recreational and other areas. Also included are $8.5 million in grants for state management costs.
- The SBA has approved $602.4 million in low-interest disaster loans, including $422.9 million to individuals and $179.5 million to businesses of all sizes.
Meanwhile, FEMA and its state and local partners are nearly complete with several important missions. The clean-up of debris in areas eligible for FEMA funding is 97 percent complete and the direct housing mission is more than 99 percent complete.
"Seven months into the recovery effort, with an enormous effort by everyone involved, we are seeing progress in Texas communities," said State Coordinating Officer Joan Haun. "Although there is still work to do, the federal funds have certainly helped us along the road to recovery."
The presidential disaster declaration for Hurricane Ike included Public Assistance funding for 50 counties and one tribal nation, and Individual Assistance for 34 counties and the tribal nation. In all, the area affected by Hurricane Ike covered more than 42,000 square miles, almost the size of the state of Tennessee.
More information is available online at www.fema.gov/ike or www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.
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 other man-made disasters.