Close to 2,000 homes reported damaged in Harris County as post-Imelda assessment process begins

High water covered parts of Grand Parkway feeder lanes near Valley Ranch Parkway on Sept. 19.

High water covered parts of Grand Parkway feeder lanes near Valley Ranch Parkway on Sept. 19.

In hopes of securing federal funding, city and county recovery officials have started performing damage assessments of properties affected by tropical depression Imelda.

Houston has reported 1,000 to 1,500 damaged properties and will likely report more as assessments continue, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Sept. 23.

Another 540 homes in unincorporated Harris county were reported damaged, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management uses a formula to determine the dollar amount of damage a county must sustain to qualify for an application from the state to the federal government for a federal disaster designation.

To qualify for a federal disaster designation, Harris County must sustain an estimated $15.5 million in damage and neighboring Montgomery County must sustain an estimated $1.7 million in damage, a TDEM representative said.

Additionally, statewide damage must total 800 or more uninsured homes that have been destroyed or received major damage and over $37.7 million in damage. If both thresholds are not met, the state will not qualify for a federal disaster designation and therefore funds cannot be extended to individual counties.

If granted a federal disaster designation, the county and the city may receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for rebuilding both public and private infrastructure. The notoriously slow process, means many repairs are performed before funds are disbursed and are instead allocated in the form of reimbursements.

Despite a need to “streamline the process” Turner said he and Hidalgo are working to gain the federal disaster designation quickly to set the process in motion.

“We are doing everything we can to get [President Donald Trump] to sign a declaration,” he said.

Turner said he was encouraged by remarks made by Trump on a visit to Houston on Sept. 21 during which he said he “wanted to do everything he could.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By Emma Whalen

Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.


MOST RECENT

Christian Community Service Center CCSC
How to help: 11 organizations and initiatives needing support in Houston as coronavirus affects the most vulnerable

The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges to nonprofits, especially those helping vulnerable populations and those with health concerns.

Health officials said they could only commit to keeping the city and county testing sites open for a few days at a time as it awaits additional supplies. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston coronavirus testing sites remain open despite supply chain hiccups

As of March 26, the end of the first week that most major test centers were open, the City of Houston had tested 1,062 patients at its site and Harris County tested 1,700 patients across its two sites.

Karen Waldrup (top) and The Soul Rebels (bottom) both had to cancel shows scheduled in Houston due to coronavirus. (Photo illustration by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston-area musicians go virtual to play for fans amid coronavirus cancellations of live shows

As non-essential businesses like bars and music venues are forced to close due to coronavirus concerns, musicians find themselves performing for audiences behind computer screens and asking for virtual tips.

Texas Medical Center has further restricted visitors to its members hospitals and clinics, the medical district announced March 27.  (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Medical Center further restricts visitors across dozens of hospitals and clinics

The Texas Medical Center has announced restrictions on visitors across its hospitals and clinics in an effort to fight COVID-19.

While the agency is still tallying the number of unemployment insurance claims filed thus far in March, in the week prior to March 25, at least 150,000 claims had been filed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.

DATA: Cases, recovery rates and death rates for COVID-19 in the Greater Houston area

A total of 441 cases of coronavirus have been identified in the Greater Houston area as of March 26.

Several restaurants in Tomball and Magnolia are having to adjust their business operations as social distancing practices take shape. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Stay up to date on how businesses across the Greater Houston area are adapting to coronavirus

Find local businesses and nonprofits to support as they grapple with coronavirus-related restrictions through our area guides.

United Way of Greater Houston and Greater Houston Community Foundation launched the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund with a focus on supporting those services that provide access to food, health care, shelter, utility assistance, transportation, and more in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, and Montgomery counties. (Courtesy YMCA of Greater Houston)
With $1 million starting gift from Houston Endowment, new COVID-19 recovery fund looks to address critical needs

A new recovery fund has been launched to help those in critical need because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Houston ISD, HISD
Houston ISD abruptly halts food distribution program after suspected COVID-19 case

The district said it is re-evaluating "its process for safely delivering this service to students and families."

Gov. Greg Abbott so far has not issued a similar order statewide(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
President Trump declares major disaster in Texas due to coronavirus

The declaration came as several Texas cities, including Houston, have issued stay-at-home orders.

Texas Medical Center
Texas Medical Center readying for potential future surge in COVID-19 cases

Hospitals affiliated with Texas Medical Center have been gearing up for a potential future surge in COVID-19 cases.

Back to top