Texas Governor hails Senate approval for Harvey funding

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Washington, Sep 8 (IANS) Texas Governor Greg Abbott has hailed the US Senate’s approval of a $15.25 billion hurricane Harvey fund to the state.

“The response by the federal government has been swift and effective, and the passage of a bill allocating an initial down payment for recovery and rebuilding is a continuation of their assurances to stand firm with Texas,” Abbott said in a statement on Thursday after the Senate voted to allocate the fund to Texas for the aftermath of Harvey.

Harvey made landfall on August 25, as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, has displaced more than 1 million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of destruction that stretches for more than 480 km, reports Xinhua news agency.

So far, 71 people were confirmed dead.

The Houston area has been devastated by severe flooding, after receiving about 1.4 metres of rain.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it was working to accelerate buyouts of repeatedly flooded properties in Houston area.

The buyouts following Hurricane Harvey aimed at helping Houston citizens escape from perennially soggy neighbourhoods and keeping the federal government from paying to rebuild homes time and time again.

FEMA was receiving thousands of Harvey claims and paying out millions of dollars every day. By the end of Wednesday, more than 80,000 Texans had filed claims and FEMA had issued about $76 million in advance payments.

–IANS

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