A small army of 2000 emergency response managers with FEMA has set up shop in what was the corporate office for Golfsmith. What's being teed up by the 2000 workers is part of a unified effort to help the communities damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Gov. Greg Abbott was briefed on the recovery work coordinated out of this central location in N Austin.
"This is incredibly impressive, and I’m awestruck by how effective they are and how compassionate they are working to help Texans rebuild,” said Abbott.
Abbott was joined by Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, who heads up the Governor's recovery commission.
The main goal, according to Sharp, is to strengthen lines of communication with local leaders and catch any potential miscues. "Where you really get in trouble, where local governments don’t get this paperwork right, then all of a sudden 5 years from now you've got the federal government clawing back money from them, because some previous mayor or previous judge didn't fill out the paperwork right,” said Sharp.
Debris removal is among the biggest jobs at hand.
130 debris removal sites have been set up by TCEQ.
It’s estimated that 200-million cubic yards will be collected. That’s an amount that could fill Kyle Field at Texas A&M 125 times, according to the governor. "It is going fast, but candidly not fast enough,” said Abbott.
There was also an assessment on schools.
52 campuses are listed as catastrophic
234 with significant damage.
678 needing some type of repair.
"Over the course of the year, we will be analyzing every issue associated with Harvey, very similar to how we responded from the Ike and Rita to Hurricanes,” said Mike Morath with TEA.
38 relief aid distribution centers are opened between Port Aransas and Orange County. 28 shelters, as of Thursday, have 5250 people in them. Innovation is the word that was used to describe the recovery process- especially with providing temporary housing. Providing a fleet of federally purchased trailers, like what was done after Hurricane Katrina, apparently isn't in the works.
"But manufactured housing, and recreational vehicles may be an option that a local government chooses to use, and we are not going to prohibit them from doing that, but we are going to work through our local governments and state agencies as to what’s the best solution that takes care of getting folks back into the affected areas, they can get their kids back to school and go back to their jobs and get back to their normal life,” said Tony Robinson with FEMA.
The state General Land Office will also help with the housing problem.
The plan is to use Community Block Grants and it’s estimated that more than $50 billion will be needed.