Sep 13, 2017
Texas Recovers after Hurricane Harvey
What Texas Has, What It Needs and How to Help
Estimates of the damage in Texas by Hurricane Harvey are still coming in,
with some figures reaching upwards of $190 billion. To put that number in
perspective, Harvey is projected to be costlier than Hurricanes Katrina (at
roughly $108 billion in 2005) and Sandy (at roughly $75 billion in 2012), combined. In 2008, Hurricane Ike, the last storm to make landfall
in Texas before Harvey, caused roughly $37.5 billion in damage. Texas Gov.
Greg Abbott estimates the state will need between $150 billion and $180
billion in federal dollars for residents and businesses to truly get back
on their feet. State agencies, executive offices, and national and local
nonprofit organizations have stepped up to fill the needs of Texans
affected by Harvey.
The hardest-hit areas in Texas include Rockport and Port Aransas in Aransas
and Nueces counties, where Harvey made landfall, and in the more inland
city of Victoria in Victoria County. Other areas in southeast Texas
experienced up to 50 inches of rainfall, which led to significant flooding
of the region’s rivers and lakes, including in the Houston area and
surrounding counties, and the cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur, closer to
the Texas-Louisiana border. The Texas General Land Office states that
nearly one in four Texans has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Gov. Abbott issued a State Disaster Declaration that includes 58 counties
on and near the Texas coast: Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop,
Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron,
Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad,
Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson,
Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak,
Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio,
Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Walker,
Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy and Wilson.
STATE INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Abbott deployed all of the 24,000 troops in the Texas National Guard to
assist with the response to Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, the Texas
Military Department mobilized nearly 5,400 personnel in support of civil
authorities, performing search and rescue via air and ground, and aiding
the more than 32,000 people in shelters across the state. The Governor’s
Office and Texas state agencies are continuing to provide assistance to
Texans in affected areas.
Office of the Governor
Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas
Abbott appointed John Sharp, current chancellor of the Texas A&M
University System, to chair the newly formed Governor’s Commission to
Rebuild Texas. The panel will focus on rebuilding the state’s
infrastructure and will oversee the response and relief efforts between the
state and local governments.
The following Texas state agencies will assist the panel in these efforts:
Department of Public Safety
Commission on Environmental Quality
Health and Human Services Commission
Department of Transportation
Department of State Health Services
Department of Emergency Management
More information is available in the governor’s
Special Task Force Will Examine Chemical Sites, Landfills
Amid growing environmental concerns, Abbott tasked the federal
Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality (TCEQ) with monitoring chemical plants and landfills flooded during
Hurricane Harvey. The two agencies will coordinate with the State
Operations Center on post-storm inspections and cleanup in all areas
affected by the storm.
Tri-Agency Workforce Partners to Design Workforce Response
Abbott directed Tri-Agency Workforce Partners — including the Texas
Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board — to develop an education and workforce training plan to
put Texans in Harvey-affected communities back to work.
The commissioners are charged with the following tasks:
Work together to implement strategies to quickly put Texans back to work.
Work with local workforce development boards, secondary and postsecondary
institutions and other stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to
upskill the Texas workforce and rebuild local communities.
Governor Suspends Collection of Hotel and Motel Taxes
Abbott suspended the collection of state and local hotel and motel
occupancy taxes for Harvey victims and personnel participating in relief
operations from Aug. 23 to Sept. 22, 2017.
Temporary Waiver of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
Abbott issued a temporary waiver of the IFTA, thereby suspending
requirements that trucking firms track and pay tax on the amount of fuel
used in Texas when delivering needed relief supplies and fuel into Texas.
Rebuild Texas Fund
Abbott announced creation of the Rebuild Texas Fund, a partnership between
the OneStar Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The
fund’s goal is to raise $100 million for Harvey-affected communities. To
donate or obtain more information, visit www.rebuildtx.org, text "Rebuildtx"
to 91999, or email .
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV)
Vehicle Titling and Registration Enforcement Suspended
Texas residents in any of the 58 counties impacted by Harvey will not have
to worry about vehicle titling and registration requirements for the next
45 days. Law enforcement will not issue citations for expired registration
in affected counties until Oct. 16, 2017. (See map above)
Waiting Period Suspended for Vehicle Insurance Companies to Pay
Abbott suspended the waiting period for insurance companies to pay claims
to vehicle owners impacted by Harvey, and is working in partnership with
the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The TxDMV estimates that more than
500,000 vehicles were damaged by the storm. For additional information,
or call 888-368-4689.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
The Texas Department of Transportation is receiving $25 million in Federal
Highway Administration funds to rehabilitate roads damaged by Harvey. Funds
are available for all 58 counties on the State Disaster Declaration.
Texas General Land Office (GLO)
The Texas General Land Office is charged with removing debris from public
beaches located in the state’s disaster declaration areas, including
removal and disposal of marine debris, as well as certain vessels and
structures. Current GLO contracts for debris removal work are listed here.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)
TDHCA will provide housing and other forms of relief to Harvey victims. The
agency has $11.5 million available via a federal program to help with
rental assistance for low-income families. An additional $3.5 million,
moved from the state’s community services block grant program, will help
qualifying victims with housing, bedding, clothing and medicine costs, with
over $1 million of that amount going to the city of Houston. Another $1
million of TDHCA funds will assist residents of low-income housing with
Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
The Texas OAG has activated its Consumer Emergency Team to respond to
price-gouging complaints. The team also monitors social media regarding
this problem. The OAG has three teams of investigators dedicated to
handling complaints. More information is available here
Department of Public Safety (DPS)
DPS will waive the $11 fee and provide no-cost replacement driver’s
licenses or ID cards for residents, provided they had current Texas
driver’s licenses or ID cards prior to the storm. Residents living in
affected counties are encouraged to bring whatever identity and residency
documentation they have in their possession. Eligible cardholders will need
to visit a driver’s license office in person to obtain the free
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has waived state park entrance fees
to evacuees seeking shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Anyone seeking shelter
can call the Texas State Parks Reservation line at 512-389-8900 to reserve
space at available parks out of the path of the storm. TPWD recommends
evacuees relocate to sites as far north and west as possible. The public
can check for park closures on the Texas State Parks alert map on the TPWD
. TPWD said 7,759 evacuees have taken advantage of the initiative.
Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA)
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller received authorization from the
federal government to allow schools in the areas affected by Hurricane
Harvey to provide meals to students at no cost to their families for the
entire month of September. Students displaced by the storm to locations
elsewhere in Texas will also qualify for school meals at no cost.
FEDERAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES
FEMA Community Disaster Loan Assistance for Texas Cities
FEMA granted Abbott’s request to provide Community Disaster Loan assistance
for Texas localities impacted by Harvey. The loans help cities suffering
from major disasters maintain their operating budgets and function normally
while helping their communities recover from the storm.
HOW TO HELP: DONATE
is a useful tool for choosing which charity to support to aid those
affected by Hurricane Harvey. The organization rates different
charities in affected areas and can help users avoid charity-related
American Red Cross
food banks provide food boxes, shelter meals, and cleaning supplies to
families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. For major or in-kind donations,
please contact .
relief efforts are updated
United Way Relief Fund
was launched to help meet storm-related needs and recovery in Texas
Save the Children
helps protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief
to families affected by Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
was established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County
Judge Ed Emmett to benefit victims affected by flooding. The fund is
housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
utilizes the skills and experience of military veterans to rapidly
deploy emergency response teams.
Houston Flood Relief Fund
, started by Houston Texan J.J. Watt and The Justin J. Watt Foundation,
has raised over $29 million to assist Houstonians affected by Hurricane
For more information, please contact a member of the McGuireWoods
Consulting Texas team:
, Senior Vice President
, Senior Vice President
Jennifer Shelley Rodriguez
, Vice President
, Vice President
, Vice President
, Assistant Vice President
, Research Associate