State, Federal Agencies Begin Organizing Harvey Rebuilding Effort

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WESLACO – FEMA along with the state have opened up a joint field operations office to help organize the recovery processes in Harvey-hit areas.

More than half a million families have already registered with FEMA. With more expected to join the list, state and federal officials are gearing up for what may be a long road ahead.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer John Long. He said the time to rebuild is now.

Long is with the new joint field operations office. He said their job is to help put back the pieces Harvey took away.

"We are here to help communities to rebuild their infrastructure and to be more resilient and we are here to help families and individuals,” he said.

Long explained the recovery processes for a storm like this will be far from easy. 

"Recovery is a long hard road. It really is a marathon. For some people, for some families it will take months, for some it will take years,” he said.

Many of these families are still unable to return home after the storm hit. We told you how some families ranging from Rockport to Houston were taking refugee here in the Valley.

"We don't need them necessarily to be at their home to be helping them. A lot of our outreach is to people that are still in the shelters and we realize that they can't go home," said Long.

He said the quicker people apply the quicker recovery can begin.

If you know anyone with damage from Harvey, they are urged to register with FEMA at disasterassistance.gov or over the phone at (800) 621-3362.

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