Flood Cleanup Ongoing: Donations Welcome

Flood relief efforts continue
Flood relief efforts continue (Photo by John Anderson)

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last weekend surveyed the damage to help in determining what, if anything, local flood victims could receive in federal emergency support. FEMA is expected to deliver an assessment report to Gov. Rick Perry by the end of the week to help in determining if federal assistance will be requested.

Some financial help is already on the way. On Nov. 8, State Reps. Eddie Rodriguez and Paul Workman joined State Sen. Judith Zaffirini to announce the creation of a Travis County flood relief fund. Two town hall meetings were held this week to provide information about the fund and to discuss long-term recovery.

The short-term efforts, however, are ramping down. Almost two weeks after the cleanup began, the Flood Assistance Center at the Dove Springs Recreation Center will reduce hours of operation to 1:30-6:30pm. The Red Cross served its last mobile meal on Nov. 11. Officials say the 38 remaining sheltered flood victims will be provided meals and snacks as long as the flood center remains open. City of Austin staff will provide info about the buyout program and reconstruction permitting.

The cleanup work remains ongoing. City crews have removed about 2,200 tons of debris thus far, with assistance Monday from representatives from the Parks and Recreation urban forestry program. Over the weekend, some 500 volunteers also pitched in. Though there's been an outpouring of community support, help is still needed. Those wishing to volunteer can register at www.handsoncentraltexas.org. Monetary donations can be made directly to the American Red Cross of Cen­tral Texas. Donations of nonperishable food, clothing, and cleanup supplies can be dropped off at the First Independent Baptist Church at 8401 Bluff Springs. At this time, no more tools are needed.

City and county representatives are encouraging any affected residents who have not yet accessed Red Cross services to call 512/928-4271 or visit the Flood Assistance Center between 1:30-6:30pm to meet with a caseworker.

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