FEMA evaluates storm damage in Lamar County

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LAMAR COUNTY, TX -- December's ice storm caused more damage and power outages than expected, with early estimates in the millions of dollars.

Tuesday afternoon county and city municipalities presented damage estimates, photos and bills to Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives, to see if the county can receive federal assistance.

"We're confident that we are going to meet that threshold for FEMA assistance, we just have to show them what that damage is," said County Judge Chuck Superville.

Officials were also shown around the county to see the damage for themselves.

"There going to review it, once they review it they are going to give their recommendation to the next up and hopefully it will get pushed through to be declared as a federal disaster for the area," said County Emergency Management Coordinator Heath Thomas.

FEMA representatives stated that preliminary estimates show that Lamar County did not hit the threshold for private assistance.

"We are barely meeting the threshold for public assistance for all the public entities, the cities, the ISD's (Independent School Districts), the electric coops," said Superville.

Tuesday was just a preliminary assessment. Officials say FEMA is evaluating all of North Texas, so the review could take time.
Judge Superville asks the public to be patient with debris clean up.

"That is going to take several weeks," said Superville. "I know people are anxious that be cleared and moved right away. Right now we have to clear the right-a-way, we have to get the damage assessment done and then we are going to start the long process of cleaning up."

FEMA officials will be in North Texas this week, if all damages total $35-million or more the region would qualify for federal aid.

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