FEMA: Irma won't impact Harvey response in Houston

With Irma threatening Florida, FEMA said it will be able to focus resources on both Texas and the East Coast.

HOUSTON - Rashad Brown is one of thousands who’ve sought help at the George R. Brown Convention Center in the wake of Harvey.

“They gave us a place to lay our head, gave us some food, gave us some clothes to put on,” said Brown.

He’s heard about Hurricane Irma lurking in the Atlantic.

“We need as much as we can get right now,” said Brown.

Brown wonders if two storms are too much for FEMA and others to handle.

“We have set up our workforce to be designed to handle two catastrophic incidents at once,” said FEMA spokesman Peter Herrick.

Herrick admits two major storms striking at the same time would be a challenge.

But right now, in Texas, it’s mainly about recovery.

Meanwhile, search and rescue teams will be shifted east along with medical professionals who are most needed in the immediate aftermath of a storm.

“I think we’ve got about 4,000 people on the ground here now,” said Herrick. “We’ve got teams staged in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina.”

FEMA estimates its resources won’t be moving out of the Lone Star state for at least another year.

“We’re not going to forget about Texas," said Herrick. “We’re staying here, I’m staying here. We want to make sure the recovery here goes very well.”

Texas’s Congressional delegation, both Democrats and Republicans, committed to fighting for more funding.

State and local officials are working to do the same.

Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office says discussions with FEMA show no reason for concern that aid to Houston will be compromised by the need for funding in other locations.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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