Governor Perry visits Polk County

LIVINGSTON, POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The stop in Polk County was brief, but long enough for Governor Rick Perry to get his message out.

"Every day there are more and more Texans being reconnected to our power grid.  Getting the power is the key to getting back to normal and getting the economy back to where it was before this storm hit," says Governor Perry.

The Governor says all of East Texas and the rest of the state that was impacted by Ike are recovering nicely and it's because of teamwork.

"This is the spirit of cooperation. It's Senator Nichols, it's Sheriff Hammack and it's Judge Thompson. It's the men and women in this room and the people you represent that make me proud to be a Texan and be associated with people who understand how to get things done, pull together and do their part."

Polk County is home to a multi-area coordination center, or MACC, which includes 12 counties working together to make sure each area has the resources they need.

Governor Perry had a briefing in the MACC before addressing the people in the emergency operations center.

"We truly made a real impact on the standpoint of saving lives and you cannot put a price tag on that.  The preparation and the execution of the pre-deployment and the evacuation was not only a monumental task, but magnificently handled."

Some 1.2 million people evacuated, more than 9,000 were rescued and almost 9,500 electricity workers have descended on Texas. Governor Perry says he is thankful for those who worked to make that happen.

"We know what's happened here, and we'll help East Texas get back on its feet, and thank you for as well run an operation I've been in during this tragic time. God bless you and God bless Texas," says Governor Perry.

Now the effort begins to rebuild, but the Governor says we are much better off than after Rita and he promises the resources we will need to make a fast recovery possible.

Governor Perry says more than 200 shelters were open throughout the state, with almost 22,000 evacuees.

To date, power has been restored to more than 1.3 million customers; however nearly 1.57 million remain without power.

For anyone in Texas who still needs help, call FEMA visit or call toll free at 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585.

Texas residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Ike who evacuated to another state or another area of Texas may call 1-877-541-7905 to reach the Texas 2-1-1 network and obtain information on how and where to apply for food stamp benefits or seek additional assistance.

Or call 2-1-1 from any Texas landline or Texas cell phone.

For a comprehensive overview of the state's activity related to Hurricane Ike response and recovery, please visit the Hurricane Center on the governor's website at: