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Texas govt provides Houston with 50 mln dollars for Harvey recovery

Texas govt provides Houston with 50 mln dollars for Harvey recovery”

Greg Abbott on Friday gave $50 million in state funds to the city of Houston for Hurricane Harvey cleanup following criticism over his assertions that the Democratic mayor already had "all the money he needs".

He went on to say that Turner has all the money he needs, referring to money in special tax reinvestment zones. "We are here to help you and help you rebuild because we are one team together.' This is what you call a common-sense case of helping a flooded town".

"The rainy day fund is a tiny fraction of what the rebuilding costs will be, and there's no way we have any way to rebuild without the profound effort by Congress that they demonstrated in the aftermath of Katrina and Sandy", Abbott said.

The initial disaster relief outlay from Washington was $15.3 billion. He said the city was without flood insurance since Harvey maxed out its $100 million coverage limit, and that a new policy would cost $10 million.

"I want to thank you for this check of $50 million because it does address some of those immediate concerns that I would have been asking people in this city - many of whom have been directly impacted and are having now to get back into their homes or to purchase furniture - to assume some of the sacrifice in order to rebuild this city", Turner said to Abbott. As that money has sat untouched since the Category 4 storm made landfall August 25, Texas Democrats have unleashed long-held frustrations over the fund, which Republicans let soar to record balances over calls to spend on public schools and health care.

The governor said the big money still must come from Washington.

FEMA will reimburse Houston for 90-percent of the costs associated with Harvey. Abbott said long-term recovery and preventive measures would be funded by the federal government and the state's savings account, known as the Rainy Day Fund, but not until exact costs for recovery are known. Abbott is up for re-election in 2018 and still has no credible challenger from either party. He added that the fund will be tapped once the full extent of Harvey's damage is known.

Both Turner and Abbott made oblique references to their public spat earlier in the week, speaking at length about unity and teamwork.

Harvey blew ashore on August 25 as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and damaging some 200,000 houses in a path of destruction that stretched for more than 480 km.



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