TEXAS CITY, Texas -- To mitigate future disaster losses in Galveston County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $102,716,260 to the state of Texas to acquire and demolish 759 structures in the 100-year floodplain.
The federal government will pay 75 percent of the total cost, estimated at $136,955,013.
“We want to do everything we can to ensure that the cycle of devastation and rebuilding brought about by storms such as Hurricane Ike does not keep recurring,” FEMA Region 6 Regional Administrator Tony Russell said. “This is the single largest Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) project ever funded by FEMA for this region.”
“This project is a winner on several levels,” said State Hazard Mitigation Officer Greg Pekar. “Injection of this money into the local economy will aid in the economic revitalization of the region and set aside approximately 300 acres of land protected from development; land that will forever remain the sole preserve of shorebirds and turtles.”
Numerous homes in Galveston County experienced extensive flood and wind damages as a result of Hurricane Ike with much of the destruction occurring on the Bolivar Peninsula. Structures were identified for acquisition and destruction based on several variables, including an owner’s interest in buyouts, prior flood losses, the depth of the property in the floodplain and substantially damaged determinations completed by Galveston County. In addition to removing flood-prone structures from the floodplain in Galveston County, the project dramatically reduces health and safety risks for homeowners and rescuers alike. It also eliminates the need for subsidized flood insurance and federal disaster assistance.
Property acquisition projects are one of many forms of Hazard Mitigation assistance available through FEMA programs and present a critical opportunity to reduce the risk to individuals and property that can be caused by future disasters. For more information, visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/pages/hazardmitigation.htm or www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program-hmgp.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.