Flood relief funding progress announced by Gov. Abbott, Mayor Turner

By Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Brandon Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - Gov. Greg Abbott and Mayor Sylvester Turner talked about the progress of flood relief funding Tuesday afternoon in Houston.

Abbott visited Houston on Tuesday and was joined by local and state officials at Houston City Hall. 

"It is great to be back in the city of champions," Abbott said.

He said the wait was worth it because the federal government came through with big funding for Texas. Abbott announced that $1 billion in hazard mitigation Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available in the next few months and that $500 million is ready to be disbursed immediately. He said the rest of the funds will be disbursed by Aug. 25.

WATCH: Flood relief funding progress announced by Gov. Abbott, Mayor Turner

"We have said from the very beginning that, as we rebuild, we want to do more than just rebuild like it was before. We want to rebuild in a way that reduces future risk to property and to lives," Abbott said. 

Abbott said hazard mitigation funds for the state of Texas have never been released this quickly before. He also said grants that are being distributed do not cover 100 percent of the cost; FEMA covers 75 percent and the rest will be covered by federal funds and will not come to the local government.

Abbott said billions of dollars more are coming to Texas and that the federal funding will go toward repairing the Barker and Addicks reservoirs and building resilient infrastructures to withstand future storms. 

Abbott also promised that he will continue his efforts to receive more money to answer every need and help Texans. 

"Our lives are not defined by the challenges we face, but how we respond to those challenges," Abbott said.

Turner thanked Abbott for the funds and said he hopes there will be additional funding pledged to the state of Texas. He said the administration will move quickly in dividing the $500 million and federal funds over the next few months to build resilient communities.

"The funding emphasis on protection against the next deluge or storm surge from the Gulf has been a key part of our plea to the federal government," Turner said. 

The Texas Division of Emergency Management will operate the fund. Cities and counties will apply for aid from the Hazard Mitigation Fund through the state agency. 

Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said anyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey and has been denied by FEMA should keep pushing and keep track of all damages to report.

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