Brownwood sending floodplain administrator to coast to help Harvey relief


BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Brownwood City Council voted on Tuesday to lend a helping hand to areas still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Council unanimously agreed to send Floodplain Administrator Jodie Kelly for a week to assist in surveying Harvey-related flood damage.

The agreement is through the Texas Water Development Board, which will reimburse her and the city for the travel expenses incurred during the week-long recovery effort.

"What a floodplain administrator looks for is a structure that's been substantially damaged," Kelly said.

According to Kelly, a home is classified as substantially damaged when it loses more than 50 percent of its market value.

"You don't have to be in a floodplain to get flood insurance," Kelly said. "Most of the homes weren't in a floodplain that were damaged by flood."

When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick visited Brownwood last month, he said around 80 percent of the homes impacted by Harvey didn't have flood insurance.

Gov. Greg Abbott is spending the week touring several coastal cities hit hard by Harvey and has visited with local officials.

"We want these businesses up and running as quick as possible because we want people employed," Abbott said in the coastal city of Rockport. "We want a sense of normalcy."

Sen. Ted Cruz also joined Abbott in reviewing the extensive damage Harvey left nearly two months ago, when the storm hit the coast as a Category 4 hurricane.

"This storm has been a devastating storm," Cruz said. "Texas is hurting. The entire Gulf Coast from Corpus [Christi] to Louisiana is hurting. But our state's coming together. We're together powerfully, we're standing as one."

Abbott will continue his tour Wednesday morning starting at Port Arthur.

As for Kelly, she still doesn't have a date on when she'll be sent to the Texas coast. But she expects to hear from the state soon.