TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The Hurricane Ike recovery effort reached a major milestone Tuesday when Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants awarded to help the state of Texas and local communities recover from the storm topped $1 billion.
Allocated under FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program, the funds provide supplemental financial assistance to state, local and tribal governments, as well as certain private nonprofit groups, for Ike-related response and recovery activities.
The activities include evacuating residents, operating shelters and implementing other protective measures immediately before and after the storm; cleaning up millions of cubic yards of debris left in Ike's path. Also included are repairs to infrastructure such as roads and bridges; public buildings, their contents and equipment; water control facilities and public utilities; and parks and recreational areas.
Although Public Assistance grants are obligated for governments and organizations, their ultimate goal is to help the people of Texas recover from Hurricane Ike and mitigate the impact of future disasters.
"Texans have worked incredibly hard to get their communities up and running since the storm hit," said Brad Harris, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for the Hurricane Ike recovery program. "We are extremely pleased to have supported their efforts with a billion dollars in Public Assistance funds."
Since the disaster declaration, FEMA has reimbursed the state for at least 75 percent - 100 percent for debris cleanup and protective measures during specified periods - of the expenses incurred by eligible entities to respond to the storm and initiate recovery projects.
"Our cities and towns are making steady progress in their revitalization projects," said State Coordinating Officer Joan Haun. "Federal grants from FEMA are contributing significantly to the recovery process."
Included in Tuesday's $1 billion total are:
- Grants totaling more than $103 million for the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) complex in Galveston, for debris removal, protective measures, repairs to buildings and replacement of equipment.
- A nearly $4 million award for Texas Southern University in Houston for repairs to classrooms and hallways in the Science Building and to historic Sawyer Auditorium.
- More than $10 million to the Trinity Bay Conservation District for debris removal operations.
- More than $35 million in grants to the Sam Houston Electric Cooperative in East Texas for emergency protective measures, work to restore power to customers and repairs.
- A $4.3 million grant to the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District to help pay the cost of repairs to a damaged levee on Lake Anahuac.
- More than $1.5 million to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for the collection and safe removal of orphan drums and other containers holding hazardous materials.
- A nearly $2.9 million grant to replace the severely damaged gymnasium in the Sabine Pass Independent School District.
- More than $1 million to replace 44 school buses owned by the Galveston Independent School District.
- More than $3.7 million to the city of Baytown to pay contractors to monitor the removal of debris.
- More than $1.1 million to Jefferson County Drainage District No. 6 to help pay for repairs to two Model 4600 S-1 cranes that were damaged as a result of being submerged in saltwater.
In all FEMA, has obligated funds in 48 of the 50 counties designated for Public Assistance under the presidential disaster declaration. For a breakdown of funds allocated by county, visit the Hurricane Ike Web site at www.fema.gov/i...