FEMA Assistance for TexansTops $1.5 Billion

by Kirby Gibbs

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Federal and state disaster assistance for Texans affected by Hurricane Ike continues to grow daily. The total now tops 1.5 billion dollars.

Even so, Governor Rick Perry is asking for more help from Fema. Fema has already agreed to reimburse Texas for 6 months of debris removal, but Governor Perry recently sent a letter to President Bush asking for 6 more months of reimursment.

Fema officials told East Texas News Nine there's a good reason FEMA is denying the extra assistance.

"Right now we still have 2 more months, actually three more months, when there will be 100% reimbursement for the debris and so far we are 84% complete" says Public information Officer, David Riedman. "So we anticipate being finished with the debris within that 6 months, and if it comes to the end of that 6 months and all of the debris has not been cleaned up, then that cost share will be reevaluated then."

Governor Rick Perry is also asking FEMA to reimburse the state for 90 percent of the costs associated with repairing roads, bridges, buildings and utilities. The agency is currently paying 75 percent of those costs, but says it could pay more.