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Three years later, Hurricane Harvey communities better prepared

Release Date Release Number
NR145

AUSTIN, Texas – On the night of Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey roared into Texas as a Category 4 hurricane leaving a path of devastation in its wake. Three years later, work to repair Harvey’s damage remains, but with great determination and perseverance, Texas communities have made strong progress in their recovery.

Harvey is the second-costliest U.S. natural disaster — only Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 caused more damage. Although the damage estimates are high, federal, state and local funds along with nonprofit assistance, volunteer hours and donations have helped Texans continue their recovery.

Texans to date have been provided with $14.5 billion in federal funds including grants, loans and flood insurance payments to assist in repair and replacement of their homes and their belongings. FEMA Public Assistance has awarded, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management has disbursed, more than

$2.1 billion in grants for debris removal, measures taken to prepare for Harvey and permanent repair or replacement of public infrastructure. And, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has funded $246 million for projects to limit damages caused by future disasters.

Although great strides have been made in the Harvey recovery, much work remains. Many permanent infrastructure projects are completed or starting to come together. Rural communities have seen bridges repaired or replaced, government buildings are back in use and made safer through mitigation efforts and children are returning to their school buildings and most residents returned to a repaired home or a completely different one.

Three years after Harvey’s, Texans find themselves in the midst of another hurricane season. This should serve as a great reminder to buy or renew a policy with the National Flood Insurance Program. After the storm, about 92,000 Texans received flood insurance payouts for an estimated $9 billion. Many Texans without flood insurance, however, had to rebuild their lives with personal savings and whatever federal assistance they were eligible to receive.

There is not a better time to plan for the unexpected than now. For more information on preparing for a disaster, visit ready.gov.

For additional information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at www.twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or the Texas Division of Emergency

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Last updated August 25, 2020