City Busy Calculating Expenses That Come With Hurricanes - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/13/05 - Nacogdoches

City Busy Calculating Expenses That Come With Hurricanes

by Donna McCollum

When you break down what's happened over the last month and a half, you basically have three disasters--Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and the response and recovery to both. Emergency Management Coordinator Victoria LaFollett-Koenig said, "Right now with Katrina, we've got a little bit better than $300,000 associated with that. With Hurricane Rita, we have closer to $500,000. We feel like we'll come in just under a million dollars."

City leaders are confident all the expenses will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state has assigned a project work team to keep expenses separated, but some have to overlap. "The main thing is you track it. That you can prove what you spent your money for and that it's directly associated with either the hosting of evacuees of Hurricane Katrina-Rita or response and recovery when the hurricane actually hit here," explained LaFollet-Koenig.

Individuals can also apply for FEMA assistance. A mobile disaster recovery center (DRC) will open Friday in Nacogdoches. Local residents and businesses affected by the hurricanes can learn about the agency's assistance. The DRC will be at the Nacogdoches Recreation Center Friday, Saturday and Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The city will have hurricane related expenses until all the storm debris is picked up, but activity is slowing down. For the first time since the storms, the Nacogdoches landfill will resume normal operating schedules. The landfill will not be open this Sunday.

Nacogdoches is experienced in helping about 800 evacuees for a couple of days during hurricane seasons. This year, the call of duty required much more. Lafollett-Koenig calculated, "We had nearly 6,000 people we hosted, and that's unprecedented." It's something the city hopes won't be repeated for a long time to come.

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