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Harris County Now A Disaster Area


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Date: September 30, 2005

For Immediate Release


Hurricane Rita Benefits Extended to

Harris County Businesses & Individuals

(Harris County, TX) - Harris County Judge Robert Eckels has announced the approval of Harris County's application for a disaster declaration. Judge Eckels' request, delivered to President Bush via Texas Governor Rick Perry, will allow local businesses and individuals to receive disaster benefits from FEMA.

"This declaration is important to Harris County residents who were affected by Hurricane Rita and I am pleased with FEMA and federal authorities who understood the importance of our request to provide individual benefits. Having helped other communities face the impact of Katrina, many people of Harris County have have now been impacted by a hurricane of their own. They can feel good that they don't have to face that burden alone," said Judge Eckels.

Eckels commended the coordination of local and state officials in their work to deliver federal support to the region in the wake of Hurricane Rita's aftermath.

The disaster declaration allows Harris County businesses and individuals to access benefits for both damage to real property and the loss of personal property. Official estimates of damages in Harris County from Hurricane Rita exceed $111 million.

Harris County residents should seek assistance through the procedures established by FEMA. Registration is available by phone, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online http://www.fema.gov/rrr/dafaq.shtm. While the Disaster Recovery Center, 6059 South Loop East, is also available for registration, because of the long lines after Hurricane Rita, Harris County residents are urged to register online or by phone. Persons should contact FEMA directly to determine eligibility.

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