Abbott vows to help Harvey-impacted communities with new website

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LA GRANGE, Texas (Nexstar) — With the creation of a commission to rebuild the Lone Star State following Harvey, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a website for communities to access information and resources.

According to the governor’s office, Rebuild Texas was designed to be “a real-time information resource for local officials in the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.” The site will have informion on state and federal resources available for cities and counties to rebuild infrastructure as well as school and government buildings.

“We are working diligently to ensure local officials get everything they need for their communities as quickly as possible,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement. “We will act swiftly and cut through red tape to rebuild the Gulf Coast region even stronger than before. And we will improve the lives of all Texans by ensuring the continuing economic pre-eminence of the Lone Star State.”

Fayette County was inundated with rainfall as the storm reached Central Texas, causing widespread flooding in La Grange when the Colorado River crested at 54.2 feet. 

“I’ve been through five floods and this has been the worst by far,” Fayette County Judge Ed Janecka said. He characterized the last three weeks as “heartwarming, scary, exciting and just frightening and all the other things put together.”

Fayette County Judge Ed Janecka writes a note in his office on Sept. 13, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

La Grange Mayor Janet Moerbe told KXAN on Monday, the devastation from Harvey has, “been a heart breaking experience for our community, it’s something we’ve never faced in recent times.”

La Grange Main Street and Tourism Manager Stacey Norris said she hoped the commission would include recovery success stories and testimonials to help inspire other leaders in their efforts to aid their communities.

“For city officials, I think getting on it and taking a look and seeing what maybe they could add as we move forward on the rebuilding process,” she explained. “Again, the success stories are just going to be instrumental for everyone to know because you never know what you’re going to be faced with in a crisis, so it’s good to be able to have some resources at the tips of your fingers.”

She said she expected it to be a useful source of information for officials statewide.

“As things move forward I’m sure they’re going to be adding to it all the time. It’s going to be a very fluid website in terms of information so it’s a good repository for people to go to,” Norris mentioned.

“The reality is anytime we can get the state working with us as they do quite nicely, but just to continue that effort is a win-win for everybody all the way around,” Janecka added.

The commission, headed by Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, will assist by focusing on “restoring roads, bridges, schools and government buildings in impacted communities.”

“We’ve been through hurricanes before in the state of Texas, but this one is personal to me having grown up in the Gulf Coast region. Whatever it takes, we will get it done,” said Commissioner Sharp said in a statement.Other donation websites

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact forced The University of Texas’ Marine Science Institute to seek help from neighbors at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

The university has heavy roof damage in Port Aransas. It includes water damage to newly constructed labs.

The research pier, which initially survived, ended up crushed by a drilling ship set adrift by the storm.

A page on the HornRaiser website has pulled in more than $23,000 so far.

The state Firefighters and Fire Marshal’s Association is also taking donations to help first responders here. 

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