NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - We are here in Nacogdoches. We were supposed to be here last week. We are here now, " said FEMA public information officer Peter Lembessis. After clearing up a contract, FEMA is now set up in the Nacogdoches County Courthouse Annex. Like in other areas hit by Hurricane Ike, numerous applicants showed up to meet face to face with a FEMA representative. Lembessis said, " A lot of people, they feel comfortable of coming and talking to somebody else, another human being. You know, face to face is so valuable in our days. "
During peak hours it's difficult to reach FEMA by phone. After all there are more than 750,000 registrations already. Emergency management coordinator Tommy Wheeler said, " There's probably somewhere near 2000 applications have been filed online, so that I'm aware of. " That's from Nacogdoches County. Most register on the Internet. Judge Joe English said, " I'm sure there are some individuals that are out there that don't have Internet and haven't been able to do that and so that's what they're here today for. "
Other Ike recovery include debris pickup. The city has picked up 70,ooo cubic yards of limbs and brush. Next week the final pass will be made. Wheeler's latest check with contractors told him, " The city is approximately 95% complete. Today and tomorrow contractors will be picking up stumps in the city and then following next week we'll continue back with debris. " And in the county debris assessment continues. English reported, " We've got all precinct 4 done. They're moving on to another precinct today. When they finish that process, we'll use those numbers that they given us and then go out for bid. So we're still looking at 3-4 weeks before that's removed. " That kind of wait can be tolerated if residents remain assured Hurricane Ike recovery is remaining on track.