Austin, TX – It’s been six months since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and Republican inaction in Washington, D.C. and the Texas Capitol has left Texas families in limbo. At a press conference earlier this week, Democratic Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked for more to be done, and urged Governor Greg Abbott to tap into the Rainy Fund if need be. [KHOU 11, February 23, 2018]
Here’s the story:
- “six months after Harvey slammed the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane and dropped historic rainfall on large swaths of the state, that initial public optimism has crashed against the reality of trying to re-engineer an already-byzantine process of getting disaster aid to hurricane survivors.”
- “More than 890,000 families sought federal disaster aid in the three months after Harvey hit — including more than 40,000 who needed short-term housing help. Yet more than 100 days after Harvey’s landfall, the General Land Office had provided short-term housing to fewer than 900 families.”
- “The new process was delayed from the beginning: Abbott didn’t tell Bush’s office about the plan until 19 days after the storm’s Aug. 25 landfall — and one day before the governor and FEMA officials publicly unveiled it.”
But wait, there’s more:
- “Federal records reveal that it took nearly four times as long to house people in trailers after Harvey as it did following Hurricane Katrina, whose chaotic aftermath became a national scandal. Repairs to houses also are running months behind the pace following 2012’s Super Storm Sandy.”
- After land office inks Harvey contract, Land Commissioner George P. Bush gets donation from contractor.
- Houston mayor said recovery from Harvey not fast enough. Mayor Sylvester Turner, “praised local efforts, including from nonprofit groups and residents, saying they’ve filled in some of the gaps as the city awaits additional state and federal funding for recovery efforts.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“It’s a shame that six months after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, tens of thousands of families are still displaced and awaiting aid. Texas Republican leaders have failed Texas families.
“Texans are living in a state where they can’t get the resources to rebuild after a storm, but Republican leaders like George P. Bush have no problem profiting off of this tragedy for campaign funds. We call on Texas Republicans to keep their promises and fulfill the demands of local leaders trying to help their communities get back on their feet. ”