Hurricane Harvey Recovery Continues

Dear Constituents,

As the Harvey recovery continues for many, new information is still coming in.

Debris removal continues to be the focus of Harris County, who is in charge of this. We do not have a schedule for you, but their processes and contractors are working better than at the beginning of the disaster and cleanup progress is being made.

If your street, block, or neighborhood has not yet seen cleanup, please have patience. FEMA reported they have over 700,000 claims that have been filed in the Texas Gulf Coast. If all are legitimate, (they are also tasked with trying to prevent fraud at the same time), this is loosely equivalent to having lost ALL of the dwellings within the Houston city limits! It may help, however, to call the Harris County Debris Hotline at 713-274-3880. If you are concerned about floodplain proximity, call the Harris County Community Assistance office at 281-353-8424.

Please beware of potential scams. In residential neighborhoods there is no charge by the county for debris removal. Note that the prime contractor for the county is a company named DRC, and they are paid through the county as well. DRC also has subcontractors, but again, they are paid through the county and DRC. While independent storm recovery companies are free to try and sell their respective services, you are under no obligation to buy from them and there is no charge for DRC or county debris removal. Anyone who claims otherwise should be promptly reported.
My staff and I are committed to doing everything we can to speed recovery, cut red tape, and otherwise help in any way we can.

Our local district office number is 281-257-4222. You may email me directly at Valoree.Swanson@House.Texas.Gov. Below in the yellow box are links to information you may find helpful in your particular case.

It is an honor to serve you in District 150. We all deeply appreciate and thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Sincerely,
Valoree Swanson
Texas House of Representatives, District 150
SBA loans are NOT just for Small Businesses!
For those of you who are still uncertain of the process for obtaining Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans, SBA provided the below guide. Businesses may obtain low interest loans of up to $2,000,000. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 on the structure and $40,000 on personal property. Their interest rates are:

Homeowners...........1.75 %
Private non-profits..2.5 %
Businesses...........3.305 %

There is a downloadable PDF version of the loan guide on my website at http://www.valoreeswanson.com/harvey-recovery-information/ as well.
Aerial Mosquito Spraying UPDATE!
The state of Texas has been conducting aerial spraying for mosquito control. This is being accomplished using fixed-wing assets spraying in much the same way crop-dusting is done. Larger-than-cropduster planes are being used, including C-130s.

The spraying is nearly complete and is expected to continue for only a few more evenings, weather permitting. The full press release from the state is located here . (You may also download a draft-text only copy here .)
Harris County Permitting for Repair or Rebuilding
Please note that due to federal regulations in place since 1973, a permit to repair/rebuild from Harris County is needed if you flooded. Most are anticipated to be mailed quickly after talking to Harris County over the phone based on your address (281-353-8424 or the Debris Hotline at 713-274-3880). If you flooded and are within the 1% risk area, (commonly called the 100-year floodplain), an on-site inspection may be needed. Please share with your impacted neighbors and have them sign up for my email list for more complete information. Harris County has issued several informative bulletins on this and on debris removal, that you can view by clicking the links below. Relating to the permitting, please note the fourth one in particular.

Debris Removal information
For those of you who want to move your storm debris directly (and not wait for the county), the county has just announced a self-serve drop-off point. The Public Storm Debris Drop-Off Site is located at 13928 Humble Road in Tomball off Highway 249 and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the flood recovery effort. Residents of unincorporated Harris County must provide proof of residency and must personally accompany their load. For more information, please click here .

Several Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs), Homeowner Associations (HOAs), and even groups of neighbors are investigating hiring private contractors to remove debris from their neighborhoods faster. A common concern is where to dump the storm debris. Harris County Precinct 4 graciously provided the following list of area dump sites.

The Harris County debris removal site (address below) is free for residents; no contractors. It is currently open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. At the same address is the "Self Serve" drop-off site, which may have reduced hours (see yellow box link below).
 
13928 Humble Road 
Tomball, Texas 

The Harris County Debris Drop-Off site above is free to residents , but you should have proof of residence. Contractors unaccompanied by their client residents cannot use this facility.

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Below is a list of private for-profit companies that residents or contractors can use for a fee .
 
Atascocita Landfill
2020 Atascocita
281-446-6545
 
Fairbank Landfill
8205 Fairbank N Houston
713-937-1332
 
Hardy Road Landfill
18710 East Hardy Road
281-443-2404
 
If you use one or more of these and would like to provide feedback, that would be helpful to all.
The above map can be accessed at http://www.harriscountyfemt.org. It allows checking particular addresses for whether or not they are in 1% or 0.2% flood chance regions (commonly referred to as 100 and 500 year flood plains).
Helpful links:
We will repeat this box as needed for the near-term on newsletters.

There are numerous resources, mostly provided by volunteers at present, while longer term assistance is being set up through various agencies. The State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) has set up an amazing network of volunteers who are collecting and moving relief supplies to areas where they are needed. Let me or or my staff know if you want to help in this effort.

FEMA Disaster Assistance: http://disasterassistance.gov

SBA Disaster Assistance:
  1. https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance
  2. http://www.valoreeswanson.com/harvey-recovery-information/

Harris County issued several informative bulletins on permitting and debris removal, that you can view by clicking the links below. Relating to the permitting, please note the fourth one in particular.

  1. Hotline and Debris Information Fact Sheet
  2. Roadway and Debris Clearance Information
  3. More Debris Removal Information
  4. Debris Damage Permitting for Rebuilding and Repairs
  5. Self Serve drop off site information (Daily 7am-5pm)

Harris County Flood Control online flood plain mapping: http://www.harriscountyfemt.org.
Montgomery County flood plain mapping: http://gis.mctx.org/apps/floodplains/

Mosquito spraying fact sheet. The full press release from the state is located here . (You may also download a draft-text only copy here .)

Additionally, we've become aware of various sites to link people needing help with willing volunteers. One of these is https://www.texasrescuemap.com/muckmap#volunteerDialog.

NEW: Harris County Precinct 4 Self Serve drop-off point. Link here. Map here .

A vast array of information and contacts has been compiled through many people over the past week. Click here to see our latest list, which itself contains many hot links to other groups.

Additionally a FEMA Fact Sheet is located here . While part of this is focused on government procedures, pages 3-8 include information INDIVIDUALS and SMALL BUSINESSES may find helpful. There is, for example, an "Individuals and Households Program" that can provide up to $33,300 in damage recovery funds for items not insured.
* NOTICE–Debris Removal Information from Harris County *

  1. All debris must be within 10 feet of the curb for the machines to reach it.
  2. Vehicles cannot be obstructing debris or access to streets.
  3. Mechanized equipment will pick up everything in piles, including mailboxes, fire hydrants, etc. DO NOT PUT DEBRIS AROUND PERMANENT ITEMS.
  4. A second round of debris pickup will occur three or more weeks later.
  5. Sorting: If piles are ALREADY near curb, do NOT re-sort. If still piling debris, please sort by electronics, appliances, demolition debris, vegetation, and hazardous waste.
A few days ago, but don't forget our neighbors impacted by this natural disaster.
Representative Valoree Swanson
Texas House District 150
www.ValoreeSwanson.com 
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