Storm Aftermath: Jasper Cleanup

News Release:

Jasper, Texas - Hurricane Ike Disaster Response activities are underway throughout Deep East Texas.  Eleven counties in the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) are in the FEMA disaster declaration; Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity and Tyler Counties.  County Judges from those counties are coordinating their needs and activities with the Multi-Activity Coordinating Headquarters (MACH) which is located in the Polk County Emergency Operations Center in Livingston.  Representatives from state and national agencies are stationed in the MACH to help with the disaster response.

In the Monday morning conference call the county judges reported the demand for food, water ice and fuel was greater than the supplies they had received. The Points of Distribution (POD) for those commodities were handled by local authorities over the weekend.  While other shipments are being made from the Regional Supply Agency (RSA) warehouses in Lufkin, Texas and National Guard troops will be bringing more commodities to the PODs throughout the region today.  Community feeding stations are being moved into several of the counties and should be operational soon.

"It is obvious that Hurricane Rita taught us a lot." says Walter Diggles, DETCOG Executive Director, "Pre-staging of materials and supplies has been a big help.  The coordination and interaction with the state and federal agencies is going much smoother.  I'm sure everyone will learn from Hurricane Ike and additional improvements will be made in their emergency plans."

After surveying the damage in the Houston-Galveston Sunday, Governor Rick Perry was in Southeast Texas this morning.  "It's difficult to see parts of our state in this condition, but it is the current reality and we're working through a recovery operation that is massive in scale and complexity," said Gov. Perry.  "People in the area need to understand that our team is working 'round the clock to restore services while people outside the area need to stay away until we have reached an acceptable level of safety."