Counties to receive disaster relief funding

At least two counties in the Rio Grande Valley will receive federal funding for recovery from severe storms and flooding in 2018 and 2019, officials report.

U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, and Henry Cuellar,D-Laredo, announced the securement of $285,654,000 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grants – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR).

The funds will be used for disaster relief, long-term recovery, repair of housing and infrastructure, and economic revitalization for local economies.

Per the award notice, Hidalgo County would receive no less than $58,330,000 for disasters in 2018 and Cameron, Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Hidalgo and Orange Counties would receive no less than $170,193,000 for disasters in 2019.

“I have seen the damaging aftermath these storms had on our communities. Though these storms were due to unprecedented flooding in 2018 and 2019, many neighborhoods and businesses are still in the recovery and rebuilding phase,” said Vela. “Funds for Hidalgo, Cameron and other counties in Texas, will help families as they seek to rebuild their homes and lives. Please know that my office is available to help if you have been impacted by these devastating storms and may be eligible for this disaster assistance.”

Gonzalez said “Our communities have experienced loss and damage on a scale the Rio Grande Valley has not seen in many years, and this is the first step of the recovery process. I would encourage all who were affected by these natural disasters to apply for this assistance. As more information becomes available about these federal funds, my office will help and provide support to all South Texans wishing to apply for them.”

Cuellar said Valley communities have waited too long for disaster recovery funds following severe flooding and storms. “This funding will be significant for the Rio Grande Valley to continue its recovery process of repairing homes, rebuilding businesses, and restoring critical infrastructure.”

In 2018 and again in 2019, Gonzalez, Vela, and Cuellar urged the president to declare the Rio Grande Valley a federal disaster area in response to severe flooding and storms.