San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

COVER: Survivor assistance team members Wayne Waletich and Rose Machor, center, register San Marcos resident Biddie Loya for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on June 20. PHOTO by JOCELYN AUGUSTINO


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has distributed nearly $8.4 million to residents of Hays and three neighboring counties hit hardest by flooding along the Blanco and San Marcos rivers in late May.

flood of 2015 icon blueMore than $6.8 million in housing and other FEMA aid was awarded to residents in Hays County alone as of July 5, the most recent county-level data available, agency spokesperson Robin Smith said. An additional $1.5 million was awarded to residents of upstream Blanco County and downstream Caldwell and Guadalupe counties.

Residents of those four counties have collectively received nearly 23 percent of $36.6 million disbursed as of July 5 for communities across the state slammed by a series of floods, tornadoes and thunderstorms between May 4 and June 19.

More than 2,200 households affected by the Memorial Day weekend floods and other natural disasters, including a tornado near Dripping Springs on May 23, have registered for FEMA assistance in Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe and Blanco counties, Smith said.

hays-countyHays County
Registrations: 1,745
Disbursements: $6,841,600
caldwell-countyCaldwell County
Registrations: 250
Disbursements: $904,000
Guadalupe County
Registrations: 83
Disbursements: $219,300
blanco-countyBlanco County
Registrations: 132
Disbursements: $425,000


Registrations: 2,210
Disbursements: $8,389,800
as of 07/05/15

Although it escaped the region’s most devastating flooding in the Blanco River basin to its south, Travis County suffered its own Memorial Day weekend floods in Austin and is among 42 counties whose residents may be eligible for individual assistance from FEMA.

travis-countyTravis County
Registrations: 379
Disbursements: $740,000
as of 07/05/15

Of $38.7 million in FEMA assistance allocated statewide as of July 10, about $32.9 million is designated for housing assistance, both for renters and for homeowners. About $5.7 million is designated for other needs which including medical and dental expenses. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $37.2 million in recovery loans for 608 homeowners and 23 businesses.

FEMA has 58 inspectors in the field who have so far completed 18,422 inspections statewide, Smith said. About 24,806 households in the state have registered for FEMA assistance, although 1,130 of those live in counties not eligible for individual assistance under the president’s federal disaster declaration, Smith said.

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On Thursday, FEMA extended the registration deadline to Aug. 27 for residents of 42 Texas counties whose residents are now eligible for individual assistance. People can register online, by phone or in person at a disaster recovery center.

Phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

A new disaster recovery center will open in Austin at noon Monday, July 13 joining those already in operation in Wimberley [1], San Marcos [2], Martindale [3], Bastrop [4] and Taylor [5]. In addition to FEMA, the recovery centers are staffed by the U.S. Small Business Administration; state and local government representatives; and nonprofit community organizations offering help to those affected by natural disaster.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has established a call center for Texas policyholders needing help filing claims. The call center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m daily.

Phone: 1-800-621-3362

The Texas Bar Association has established a hotline to offer free legal advice to natural disaster victims. Volunteer attorneys can assist with insurance claims; landlord/tenant problems; consumer protection and foreclosure problems; replacement of wills and other important documents; and preparation of guardianships and conservatorships.

Phone: 1-800-504-7030

A FEMA specialist will be stationed at home improvement stores in Wimberley, Dripping Springs and Kyle on a rotating basis through July 28 to offer rebuilding advice and information to do-it-yourself homeowners and general contractors. The specialist will also have literature on building storm shelters and safe rooms.

Ace Hardware
14307 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley

Through July 14
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

Home Depot
260 U.S. 290 East, Dripping Springs

July 16 to July 21
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

Lowe’s Home Improvement
5753 Kyle Parkway, Kyle

July 23 to July 28
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

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