News

Tue
31
Oct

FEMA DRC in Vidor offers full services

By George Garza

 

Many Vidorians are already aware that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up a full service Disaster Recovery Center at the Vidor Police Department at 695 East Railroad Street. However, DRC manager Tonya Mull reported this week that several storm victims from the Vidor area have been driving all around Jefferson County looking for non-existent FEMA centers.

 

“We’ve had several people come in and tell us that they didn’t know that we are right here in Vidor,” said Ms. Mull. “We even had people say that they had been spending valuable gas money to drive to locations where FEMA formerly had centers but aren’t there anymore.”

 

 

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Tue
31
Oct

TxDOT to begin last round of debris pick up

According to a news release issued by the Beaumont District Office of the Texas Department of Transportation, the Highway Department will begin their last round of Hurricane Harvey storm debris pickup along state highways today. That means that if your property fronts an Interstate Highway, a U.S. Highway, a Texas State Highway or a Farm to Market Road, you need to make sure your hurricane storm debris is stacked and separated and placed right next to that highway’s right of way for the final pass of TXDOT trucks.

 

Sarah Dupre, TXDOT spokesperson said that beginning on Wedneday, November 1st, TXDOT will begin the final round of debris pick up along state roadways in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Chambers, Liberty, Tyler, Jasper and Newton County. She alerted all residents and homeowners living along state roadways should place any debris generated by Tropical Storm Harvey along state right of way for pickup.

 

 

Thu
26
Oct

HUD allocates additional $58 million to help Texas

Funding to support housing recovery

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson allocated an additional $57.8 million to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey last week. The grant announced last Friday is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. Combined with CDBGDR grants already allocated to the State of Texas from disasters that occurred in 2015 and 2016, HUD’s support of long-term disaster recovery in the Lone Star State now totals more than $371 million.

“Clearly, the long-term needs in Texas far exceed this allocation so I anticipate this down payment will be targeted to address damaged housing to help Texans move forward with their own recovery,” said Secretary Carson. 

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Thu
26
Oct

“Lights Out” for “Trunk or Treat”

Thanks to a number of Vidor High School student organizations, Halloween evening this year will include special “Trunk or Treat” event at the Vidor High School Pirate Stadium.

According to Vidor I.S.D. spokesperson, Sally Andrews, the annual Homecoming “Lights Out Practice” for the Mighty Pirate Marching Band will be followed by a “Trunk or Treat” sponsored by a number of the High School’s clubs and organizations”. Andrews said that the community is invited to come watch the “Lights-Out Practice” and then stay for the “Trunk or Treat” that follows.

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Thu
26
Oct

Jeepers offer Halloween fun Saturday

By George Garza

The Bottoms Up Jeepers of Southeast Texas are inviting parents and kids of all ages to attend their “2nd Annual Jeep or Treat” at Conn Park next to the Vidor City Pool on Saturday night from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The jeep enthusiasts promise fun, food entertainment and lots of candy for trick or treaters at the park, and all for the price of a can of food.

According to Lorelei Jackson of the Bottoms Up Jeepers, the club is working closely with the “Fishers of Men” backpack ministry at Turning Point Church in an effort to help refill their pantry.

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Thu
26
Oct

Sheriff returns to torn up office

By George Garza

Although Hurricane Harvey did flood homes and businesses in all parts of Orange County, those floodwaters did not inundate the main Orange County campus on Border Street in Orange. However, several buildings did suffer from driving rain damage when their windows and roofs leaked. Among the casualties are the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange County Courthouse.

The Courthouse building in Orange is currently closed due to damage from wind driven rain. But recently, Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt has moved back into his torn up office across the parking lot from the Courthouse.

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Tue
24
Oct

Two schools reveal their skeletons

Remediation means clean down to the studs

By George Garza

The process of tearing out the damaged insides of the flooded Oak Forest Elementary and the flooded Vidor Middle School is a tremendous job that requires patience and thoroughness. A recent tour of both facilities shows that some parts of those facilities required tearing down to the bare skeleton of those sections of the buildings.

It is amazing to look straight through six classroom and across two hallways and see nothing but metal wall studs, with no walls. Only light fixtures, metal doorways without doors and air conditioning ducting remain. Even the floor tiles and ceiling tiles are gone at the Oak Forest Elementary School.

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Tue
24
Oct

Old Highway 90 to close for bridge replacement

The Texas Department of Transportation Beaumont District announced this week that the Anderson Gully Bridge on Old Highway 90 near Lynwood Street will be replaced with a new three box culvert bridge next month. According to Sarah Dupre, spokesperson for the Beaumont District Office, the replacement of this bridge is part of the Department’s ongoing bridge modernization program.

“Every bridge has a finite lifespan and it was time to replace this bridge,” said Mr. Dupre.

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Tue
24
Oct

Commissioners discuss debris collection with AshBritt

By George Garza

The Orange County Commissioners’ Court held a workshop session last week to discuss the status of storm debris pickup with the County’s contractor, AshBritt, last week. Orange County has long had a contract with AshBritt Environmental to provide disaster response and recovery services following natural disasters when the county has determined they are needed. Most notably, that contract was last activated following Hurricane Ike in September of 2008.

Orange County pays Ash- Britt for storm debris removal and disposal per cubic yard of trash. The County, in turn, receives reimbursement from the federal government, i.e. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, for a large portion of each cubic yard of storm debris that is picked up and properly disposed of in accordance with FEMA regulations.

Tue
24
Oct

Early voting begins in Constitution Amendment Election

By George Garza

Every November in odd numbered years, the voters of Texas are presented with a ballot initiative to approve or disapprove proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. These every other year elections coincide with the biennial sessions of the Texas Legislatures that always precede these Constitutional Amendment Elections.

Early voting in this year’s Constitutional Amendment Election began on Monday of this week and will continue each weekday of this week and next. Election day is on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

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