League City officials now estimate 7,700 houses were damaged by flooding during Hurricane Harvey.
The number could be even higher, Mayor Pat Hallisey said.
“It could be 8,000 or more,” he said.
Flooding began late Aug. 26 and continued through Aug. 29 as more than 49 inches of rain fell on League City and Clear Creek overflowed its banks into neighborhoods and streets.
Despite the thousands of flooded homes, Hallisey doesn’t think those homeowners will move away from League City.
“They are going to stay,” he said.
Hallisey is working with state and county leaders on how to encourage residents to stay in their homes with basic repairs while they wait for bigger rehabilitation efforts, he said.
Across the city Thursday, residents mucked out houses, volunteers helped others and remaining evacuees who hadn’t yet found temporary housing moved to another shelter.
Nine families who took refuge at Hometown Heroes Park in League City during the floods are moving out because the shelter is closing today, City Councilman Greg Gripon said.
The remaining evacuees will go to the American Red Cross shelter at Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., in La Marque. No other shelters in League City or in Friendswood are still open.
Some of the people staying in Hometown Heroes Park were homeless before the storm hit, Galveston County officials said. It was unclear Thursday where they would go after all the disaster shelters close.
DEBRIS REMOVAL BEGINS
CrowderGulf, an Alabama-based contractor, began picking up storm debris Thursday in League City.
“Because of the amount of debris and the number of homes affected, this process may take a few weeks to complete,” city spokeswoman Jennifer Banks said.
The city is asking residents not to park in the street between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to allow trucks and equipment to collect the debris.
Despite rumors on social media, residents will not be charged for this service, Banks said.
Many residents worried about the contractor removing piles of damaged drywall and furniture before a FEMA inspector assessed the property, but a FEMA spokesman said the debris doesn’t have to be assessed before it’s hauled away.
“It may vary from insurance company to insurance company,” FEMA spokesman William Rukeyser said. “But for FEMA, we do not insist on inspecting debris. What we do ask is that people document, document, document.”
The disaster relief distribution center that opened Sunday in the former Kroger store, 176 Gulf Freeway S., has given food and supplies to several thousand people so far, but its role is shifting, Hallisey said.
“We are beginning a transition that will ultimately allow traditional social service delivery and we will become, for lack of the right words, a wholesale supplier of goods and services to groups and organizations who do this full time,” Hallisey said.
Clear Creek ISD students return to class Monday, and tired volunteers want to focus on their families, Hallisey said.