U.S. to open 3 disaster recovery centers in Houston area

Updated 2017-09-12 10:30:18 Xinhua

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Texas will open three Disaster Recovery Centers in Houston area on Monday.

Houston Public Media, a service of the University of Houston, said on Monday the centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in 39 counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods.

Recovery specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the state and other agencies will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.

FEMA on Sept. 3 opened its first Disaster Recovery Center in downtown Houston, aiming to identify locations for additional centers, where residents affected by Tropical Storm Harvey can apply for aid, ask questions or solve problems.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday that a relief package of 15.3 billion U.S. dollars will help reinforce the ongoing recovery in Texas from Hurricane Harvey.

It's the first installment of a federal aid package that could rival or exceed the 100 billion-plus dollars provided after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Future installments are likely to be more difficult to be approved by the Congress.

Observers said it would refill depleted emergency accounts, as the state of Florida is bracing for Hurricane Irma which is even more powerful, and Texas is picking up the pieces after the devastation of Harvey.

Harvey blew ashore on Aug. 25 as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing more than 1 million people and damaged some 200,000 houses in a path of destruction that stretched for more than 480 km. The Houston area was hit by severe flooding, after receiving about 1.4 meters of rain.

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