Thousands of people affected were affected during the June floods of 2018. The damages from the rain are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars according to the National Weather Service.
Valley families are rebuilding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opens the first Disaster Recovery Center in the Rio Grande Valley on July 17,2018.
FEMA representative Robin Smith says that recovery centers are “the place to go to get your questions answered. This is also the place to go when you get some sort of a letter from FEMA.”
The Flooding was devastating to some to some parts of Weslaco with over 15 inches of rain.
The stress on local emergency managements was large. At one point 75 agencies working together. The Fire chief tells us that in 2015 Weslaco had 131 emergency response missions. That is far less than the 2018 figure of over 1,100. First responders and elected officials remain hopeful that reconstruction is on the way.
“It was really disheartening. It was sad to see that unfortunate event,” Hidalgo County Commissioner David Fuentes. “We’re going to do everything we can to help people get back on their feet.”
Fire Chief Antonio Lopez adds, “Our EOC has not closed. We’re still monitoring debris management. We’re still monitoring the recovery of the city. we have a lot of work to do on our side.”
The center will be open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. Residents have 60 days from July 6, when the disaster declaration was issued to apply for FEMA assistance. September 6 is the last day to apply.