Rebuild Texas Releases After-Harvey Report


A sweeping report from Gov. Greg Abbott's Commission to Rebuild Texas calls Hurricane Harvey a warning that should not be ignored.


Gov.Abbott says the 178-page "Eye of the Storm" report makes 44 legislative, logistical and administrative recommendations for both short and long-term improvements.


“These strategies include things like creating a recovery task force to help communities and individuals deal with disaster financial issues and to help them access federal assistance programs,” Abbott said Thursday.  “The goal is to speed recovery at the local level and individual level.”


Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp says Harvey highlighted how things need to get done quickly.


“Everything from suspending burn bans so that we could burn debris for the first time in some places.  Innovative ways to burn debris using fireboxes.  More than double the number of disaster relief centers at the request of judges and mayors,” he said.


The report also talks about storm-surge barriers, shoring up wetlands and buying out residents in flood-prone areas.


“Was everthing perfect?  No.  Are we finished?  No.  But we can say that Texas has rebounded faster than anyone else in a disaster-filled 2017,” said Sharp.


Harvey was the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after Katrina.  It caused at least $125 billion in damage, forced 39,000 people into shelters, and displaced more than 10,000 students from their schools.


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