Hurricane Rita In Texas: 10 Years Later

DENTON, September 24, 2015 - Texas faced multiple challenges in September 2005. Hurricane Rita made landfall in the state while it was also housing and sheltering Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were displaced less than a month earlier.

More than $1 billion in federal disaster assistance has fueled Texas’ recovery efforts in the last decade. The assistance includes funds to repair and rebuild infrastructure, housing for disaster survivors and mitigating against future disaster events.

Galveston after Hurricane Rita

A decade ago, many emergency management partners assisted FEMA with the disaster-related events. Local, state and federal government partners, voluntary agencies, private sector entities, nonprofits, community and faith-based groups and individuals made significant contributions.

“Texas benefited immensely from our government and non-government disaster recovery partnerships,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “Hurricane Rita devastated southeast Texas and we successfully worked with our partners to rebuild communities to make them stronger.”

Funding includes more than $618.7 million in Individual Assistance grants provided to more than 252,000 individuals and families affected by Hurricanes Rita in Texas. The funds helped survivors by providing temporary housing and grants for disaster-related losses while they rebuilt their lives.

The total also includes approximately $361.9 million in Public Assistance reimbursements to the state and local governments, and eligible nonprofit organizations; and more than $89.4 million for mitigation projects to build stronger, safer and more resilient communities.
Some of this funding included:

• Nearly $48.9 million for debris removal;
• Almost $265.2 million for emergency protective measures, such as labor, equipment and materials to reduce threats to lives;
• More than $134.2 million for permanent work, including the repair of roads, water control facilities, public and non-profit buildings and utilities and parks.

Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation projects, in conjunction with FEMA’s state and local partners, continue to move forward to help Texas storm-ravaged communities meet the challenges of repairing and rebuilding damaged and destroyed infrastructure.

While Texas was preparing for Hurricane Rita’s landfall, it also had begun assisting with emergency sheltering and housing for displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors. The state received more than $500 million from FEMA to cover costs including opening more than 200 shelters, transportation services, overtime costs for emergency operations centers and medical care.

“Texas has overcome so much since Hurricane Rita,” Robinson said. “The storm devastated so much here the same time it was helping survivors from other parts of the country following Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully, these federal disaster dollars have made Texas stronger than ever and make it better prepared for future disaster events.”

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