Harvey recovery

Although the City of Nederland completed its Hurricane Harvey debris operation on Friday, Nov. 10, the city said in a Jan. 25 statement that officials realize that some Harvey-affected property owners continue to demo their walls and flooring,and that repairs and re-construction are on-going.

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As Texans repair or rebuild their homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding, FEMA and home-improvement stores in Harris, Nueces and Orange counties are teaming up to provide free information, tips and literature on making homes stronger and safer, FEMA officials said in a release.

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Little Cypress and Mauriceville Elementary Schools are both recipients of $135,000 grants from the Laura Bush Foundation to help restore the schools’ libraries that were decimated during Hurricane Harvey, LCM CISD announced Jan. 15.

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William Boutte pictured with unfinished construction

In last week’s edition of The Examiner, the newspaper exposed two situations in which contractors failed to finish work on Southeast Texas homes. One of those contractors highlighted in last week’s story — silent at first — now wants to answer some of the charges levied against him, and the Port Arthur Police Department (PAPD), warning the public about citizens’ ongoing difficulty with construction contractors, is explaining the difference between civil and criminal complaints.

Contractors answer claims

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Rep. Kevin Brady

Those who made unreimbursed hurricane-related repairs will be eligible for thousands of dollars more than usual in post-disaster tax breaks as the storm season comes to a close and tax season starts thanks to a bill signed into law shortly after multiple hurricanes struck the U.S. late in 2017. In addition, those using retirement plan savings to make repairs will also see a break when they report to the IRS, as will many who gave to hurricane relief charitable organizations.

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JCAD Chief Appraiser Angela Bellard

Southeast Texas streets lined with family heirlooms, belongings that took a lifetime to amass, objects once treasured now turned to trash with the torrential rainfall wrought by Hurricane Harvey, are now streets lined with homes that are worth only a fraction of what they were prior to the August storm. Still, unless homeowners report the damage to the proper appraisal district, home valuations used in calculating property taxes will not reflect the accurate value of the damaged property.

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William Boutte next to unfinished post Harvey work

As Southeast Texans continue to rebuild their lives and their homes four months after Hurricane Harvey’s destructive flooding, some homeowners are struggling to get local contractors who didn’t keep their promises to give them their money back.

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Beaumont's FEMA disaster recovery center (DRC) is relocating for the New Year, FEMA officials announced Jan. 29.

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Port Arthur Blue Santa bringing gifts to families affected by Harvey

After going through some of the worst of Harvey’s unprecedented flooding, the Port Arthur Police Department tried to bring a little Christmas cheer with Blue Santa Dec. 22.

A long line formed outside The Department Club on Lakeshore Drive near Lamar State College-Port Arthur where Port Arthur Police Department (PAPD) officers and volunteers were handing out gifts inside. A volunteer stood outside, letting in just a few families at a time.

Some of the families were leaving in tears of joy, but the kids rolling away on brand new bicycles were grinning from ear to ear.

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Man [Jeremy Smith] sitting in FEMA trailer smiling next to dog

Harvey devastated Southeast Texas neighborhoods over four months ago, but many families are spending the holidays displaced.

The Jefferson County Commissioner’s Court discussed implementing a blanket permitting system Dec. 4 to speed up delivery of direct housing units — more commonly referred to as “FEMA trailers.” Multiple FEMA mobile homes were being delivered the week ending Dec. 22 to a staging area on Martin Luther King Parkway just south of Lamar University.

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