Feds extend total payment for Ike debris removal

Associated Press - November 26, 2008 8:45 PM ET

AUSTIN (AP) - The federal government will pay Hurricane Ike debris-removal costs in Texas for six more months --- but Gov. Rick Perry's office says the extension isn't enough.

The Bush administration announced late today the extension of 100% cleanup payments. It's for eligible areas devastated by the September hurricane.

Perry has criticized the federal government's response to debris removal from affected counties.

Governor's spokeswoman Allison Castle said in an e-mail that the federal government's plan to provide only a small fraction of the assistance Texas requested is unacceptable.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency typically pays 75% of cleanup costs, with local governments responsible for the rest. Texas officials have estimated cleanup costs from Ike total $2 billion.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady applauded the federal extension as a way to take a step toward a return to normal in the region.

FEMA previously approved three requests from Texas to pay 100% of eligible cleanup costs, which covered the first 44 days following the storm.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.