FEMA

Every home in Rose City except two sustained damage during the catastrophic flooding that Hurricane Harvey brought to Southeast Texas, and, while other cities begin the rebuilding process, the small town is still literally trying to pick up the pieces and sift through the rubble they once called home.

Mayor Bonnie Stevenson said her city and its residents are in dire need of assistance.

“The city was devastated,” Stevenson said, “but, we’re coming back. These people have lost everything, and they need help.”

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FEMA spokesperson Ken Higginbotham said that starting Wednesday, Sept. 13, the federal agency is collaborating with multiple local, state and federal agencies to offer what is essentially a “one-stop stop” for Harvey victims seeking assistance in recovery. From 7 a.m. through 7 p.m., seven days a week, the first FEMA/state Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for the Golden Triangle will set up camp at the Goodwill located at 2871 Stagg Drive in Beaumont.

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Texas Health and Human Services is urging people to be aware of the benefits and services available to Texans who suffered loss following Hurricane Harvey.

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Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) benefits, which provide short-term lodging assistance for evacuees who are impacted by a declared disaster, are available to Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange county residents whose homes were damaged by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey. TSA benefits, sponsored by FEMA, are not a guarantee of hotel room availability, though, FEMA media liaison Ken Higginbotham told The Examiner.

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Hurricane evacuations

Hurricane Rita devastated the Gulf Coast and caused billions of dollars in damages in Texas when it swept through in 2005. Beaumont and Jefferson County were hard hit with hundreds displaced, and it has cost millions locally to repair damages and to rebuild Southeast Texas.

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FEMA representatives visited Orange and Jefferson counties last week to discuss preliminary flood maps for the areas. Changes in risk levels designated by the new maps could raise or lower flood insurance rates for homeowners and business owners.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency will hold a public meeting to discuss its revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) from 2-8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. The meeting will be held at the Ford Park Exhibit Hall, 5115 I-10 South.

Representatives from FEMA, along with the city of Beaumont's floodplain administrator, will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance on the revised maps. Interactive online maps will be available for review.

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