BEAUMONT, Texas — Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick tells 12News that 903 uninsured homes had major damage across Southeast Texas following Tropical Storm Imelda. That puts the area above the 800 home threshold used to trigger a federal disaster declaration.
Galveston, Hardin, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Jasper and San Jacinto Counties have completed the assessment to date, Texas Department of Emergency Management spokesperson Seth Christensen said. Jefferson County is still counting flooded homes as of Monday afternoon.
FEMA crews are completing about 60 homes per team, officials said. Congressman Randy Weber's office said Southeast Texas may need additional teams to keep assessing homes.
“We're pushing FEMA to try and get the job done quickly so that we can find out if we're going to make it so we'll know what type of assistance we can expect," Jefferson County Emergency Management coordinator Michael R. White told 12News last week.
A house must be uninsured and have 18 inches of water on the inside to count towards the federal disaster declaration, officials said.
Once the teams going door-to-door finish assessing the damaged homes, their reports have to be submitted to officials at the state level who check to make sure the home was uninsured using a national flood insurance database.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed off on local disaster declarations, which is sent to President Donald Trump. Now that at least 800 homes had significant flooding damage, it will be up to the president to declare Imelda a disaster so that federal money can flow into Southeast Texas.
For families that flooded during Harvey in 2017, and you had individual assistance from FEMA or received a SBA loan, you were automatically enrolled for national flood insurance for three years.
Those residents are encouraged to file claims with their insurance companies.
If a federal disaster is declared, residents will be able to get rental assistance, help with pay lost because of the flood and assistance with SBA Loans.
Once a disaster is declared you can apply for assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov/
If you have a need for emergency shelter, food, water or other assistance, volunteer organizations may be able to help. Contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or the United Way by dialing 2-1-1, or visit 211.org.
RELATED: How to get help after Imelda