Governor Launches Commission To Rebuild Texas

DALLAS (CBS11) – Paige Cane says she has experienced a flood of emotions after she and her four children, ages 3 to 9, escaped rising flood waters in their Port Arthur apartment. “You get a little bit depressed. You get a little bit of anxiety and you get a little bit scared.”

Cane says the water reached her waist before they evacuated. “I’m a mermaid, so I swam out real good. I got the kids, and swam out.”

She says she’s lost everything in her home and both of her cars.

Cane is one of nearly 4,000 Harvey evacuees staying at the Dallas mega-shelter in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown.

While she says the Red Cross and other volunteers have given her and her family so much, there is one thing she still wants: An answer about their future. “I would like to know if they’re relocating me.”

Cane says she’s waiting for FEMA to assess her damaged apartment so she can receive the agency’s financial assistance.

On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, which will oversee the rebuilding of Texas schools, roads, bridges and government buildings hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. “Our mission is clear: We must help displaced families. We must help rebuild our communities. We will once again triumph over tragedy.”

Tony Robinson, the Regional Administrator for FEMA, which is responsible for helping individuals like Paige Cane, says they’re working as quickly as possible. “We want to get them back to their damaged dwellings. The more we can get them back, so they’re near their schools, their jobs, that’s what we want to do.”

The Governor selected John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, to oversee the new commission.

asharp Governor Launches Commission To Rebuild Texas

John Sharp (Texas A&M)

During the news conference, Sharp said, “We will rebuild Texas and build it better than it was before.”

Governor Abbott says most of the recovery will be paid for by the federal government.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate approved spending $15.25 billion for Harvey relief as part of a deal to increase the debt ceiling.

The Governor said the state may share some of the costs in the rebuilding effort, but that the money would come from within the state agencies’ existing budgets rather than the “rainy day” fund, now estimated at more than $10 billion.

As for Paige Cane, she says she’s looking to start a new life in Dallas. “I miss my city, but my mother tells me there’s no reason to come home. My little girl wants to stay. She doesn’t want to go back home.”

Cane says she’s looking forward to attending a job fair Friday.

The Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas will be holding the fair for Harvey evacuees from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Cane says, “I’m excited, I’m going to print out my resume and I hope I can start something new and better.”

More From CBS Houston

DONATE NOW TO HOUSTON FOOD BANKAll of Houston Radio is banding together to support the Houston Food Bank. Donate now.
Dynamo Schedule
Chris Myers Roast

Listen Live