76-year-old rides out Hurricane Harvey, 4-state road to recovery

A survivor’s story: One year after Hurricane Harvey AUSTIN, Texas — Lying on her bed in Port Aransas the night after Hurricane Harvey tore through, Sandra Maynard was startled when her lap dog, Fritz, began to bark.  “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, the looters are here.’”   The 76-year-old had just inventoried her home and was making plans for her second night alone since her one-story townhome flooded with rainwater and sewage. She had a flashlight, but all her candles were gone.  “I did have sheets and stuff in a closet,” she said,...
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Get Required Permits Before Rebuilding

Before considering new construction and repairs on property located in flood-hazard areas, survivors of the severe storms in Hidalgo, Cameron and Jim Wells counties are urged to consult local building officials to obtain floodplain development permits. Obtaining building permits is especially important for those with homes or businesses located within a 100-year floodplain. Floodplain development permits cannot be waived, and local governments cannot reduce or ignore the floodplain requirement.  Know your local flood risk by viewing and downloading your community’s flood risk products from FEMA’s Map Service Center (MSC) Product Catalog. Flood...
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FEMA grants more than $1.2 million to the City of Groves for debris removal

AUSTIN, Texas – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $1.2 million for the City of Groves to remove debris deposited by Hurricane Harvey.  The cost of debris removal in Groves is nearly $1.4 million. The grant of more than $1.2 million is the federal share of the cost and requires a 10 percent nonfederal match by the applicant, or $137,964. This grant comes from FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program which reimburses communities for actions taken in the immediate response to and during recovery from a disaster. Eligible applicants...
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Personal touch brings Houston-area family to recovery finish line

A survivor story: One year after Hurricane Harvey AUSTIN, Texas – Rose Pickens knew more about floods and federal disaster assistance than most people when Hurricane Harvey hit. She had received aid from FEMA after her house was damaged in the Memorial Day 2016 flood, and through her role as director of a local nonprofit, she had assisted many impoverished families whose homes had flooded.    Nonetheless, her family’s road to recovery after Harvey presented a slow, daunting journey.  “A lot of people think it’s a sprint, that it should be done quickly,...
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Disaster Survivors Can Get Rebuilding Tips from Local Home Improvement Stores

AUSTIN, Texas – Disaster survivors from Hidalgo, Cameron and Jim Wells counties who are rebuilding and repairing their homes can visit local home improvement stores to get free hazard mitigation consultations from FEMA mitigation representatives. Mitigation advisors will be on-hand to answer questions about rebuilding and protecting homes from future disaster related damage. Topics include flood insurance and elevating of utilities. Most of the information provided is geared toward do-it-yourself work and general contractors. FEMA Mitigation Specialists will be available at these stores: CountyLocationsDatesHoursCameronLowe’s Store4705 South Expy 77/83Harlingen, TX 78550Monday, Aug. 20Tues. Aug. 21...
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