BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - Assistance for those recovering from damage left behind from the winter storms that moved through the week of Feb. 15 may be on the way for some Texas counties. Governor Greg Abbott announced FEMA has approved adding Bowie and Harrison counties to the president’s Major Disaster Declaration list for individual assistance.
Water pickup continued Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Macedonia-Eylau Utility District. For nearly a week, the 8,000 customers there have been without water due to burst pipes at customers home and damage to the water system.
“We’ve got massive infrastructure damage here that we are going to have to have replaced,” said Carrie McCreery, general manager of Macedonia-Eylau Utility District.
McCreery says automation systems at the water storage tanks have been destroyed, but the main concern is the 8,000 customers the district serves.
“We live in a lower income community over here and these customers aren’t going to be able to pay these water bills. I can imagine a lot of them are going to have water bills over two to three thousand dollars,” McCreery said.
For residents across Bowie County, Texas, some help is on the way. Gov. Abbott has declared a major disaster in Bowie County.
“It’s important for our citizens to go online and request this assistance,” said Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell.
Judge Howell and Mayor Bob Bruggeman outlined the benefits of the FEMA disaster program.
“The FEMA program can help citizens with rental assistance, temporary lodging expenses, home repair and replacement, and other miscellaneous expenses,” Howell said.
This assistance could include helping Macedonia-Eylau Utility District and its customers. Officials are encouraging anyone with damage, no matter how slight, to apply for FEMA assistance.
“And the reason to enter those damage assessments, so it opens up funding categories in FEMA. It may not have an impact on the individual assistance side, but it might on the public assistance side,” said Eric Schlotter, emergency management director with FEMA.