Rita Recovery Cost Lufkin More than a Million Dollars

A year after Hurricane Rita pounded East Texas, City of Lufkin work crews are still picking up debris from the storm. It has now cost the city more than $600,000 to get rid of Rita debris, but even more money was spent sheltering thousands of storm victims who came to Lufkin for safety. And some city structures still need repairs.

"We have one other project and that is replacing the roof on the civic center that was damaged," said Assistant City Manager Keith Wright. "We have gotten some funding for that and we are looking to put together engineering specs to go ahead and have that construction completed."

The damage did not affect operations there, but housing evacuees did. For 11 days, the civic center was home to 275 special needs storm victims. So far, the cost to fix the problems there totals more than $12,000.

Nellie Matthews, civic center director, said, "It was some separation of the insulation and some other wind damage. During the time of the hurricane, we did have to cancel or reschedule some of our events, but as far as the operations afterwards [there was no impact]."

Close to $50,000 in Rita-related expenses around Lufkin included damage to a water well, an exhibit at Ellen Trout Zoo, city parks, and a water treatment plant in the city.

The City of Lufkin got back $1.1 million of the $1.4 million it spent on repairs and storm victims after Hurricane Rita.