Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Texas Continues Progress Toward Restoration

Power Restored to More Than One Million Customers; Nearly All Fuel Terminals in Operation

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today thanked utility company officials for their extraordinary efforts at restoring electricity to customers in the Hurricane Ike ravaged communities and promised the state will do all it can to help get power back on.

With power restoration as one of the state’s top priority in relief efforts, Gov. Perry today talked with representatives of CenterPoint, American Electric Power and Entergy, thanking them for their ongoing work to restore power. On Tuesday the governor issued a proclamation allowing utility companies access to easement on public and private property to expedite the restoration of electricity.

“The resiliency and resolve embraced by Texans in the aftermath of this storm has brought us a long way down the road to recovery in only a few days,” said Gov. Perry. “Restoring power is a top priority now that search and rescue efforts are concluding. Bringing homes, business, schools and health care facilities back to full operation will be a milestone in our efforts to help Texans recover from the damage they sustained.”

More than 9,500 personnel from across the nation are working with power companies around the clock to restore electricity in areas affected by Hurricane Ike. To date, power has been restored to more than one million customers; however nearly 1.79 million remain without power.

To help Texans determine whether power has been restored to their communities, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas has a web feature that allows customers to check power outages by entering their utility provider and zip code at http://www.puc.state.tx.us/files/ike.cfm

The governor today also praised first responders for the progress they have made in search and rescue and additional relief efforts in the four days since Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas coast.

Nearly all fuel terminals in the storm-affected region are operational. Forty percent of retail stores have resumed operations, and 45 percent are expected to have power by Thursday.

Search and rescue (SAR) efforts along the Texas coast are approaching completion and demobilizing. To date, more than 3,540 residents from coastal areas have been rescued by air, ground and water and 28,592 structures have been searched. As of Wednesday afternoon, 226 shelters were open throughout the state housing more than 28,500 evacuees; more than 1,360 truckloads of water and 1,201 truckloads of ice have been distributed throughout the storm-affected areas.

Gov. Perry today amended his initial emergency proclamation extending the hotel/motel tax waiver to be effective Sept. 8, 2008, through Oct. 14, 2008. The governor’s proclamation suspends the collection of the state and local hotel and motel taxes under the Texas Tax Code for victims of Hurricane Ike. For assistance or additional information, please visit the Comptroller of Public Accounts website at:  http://window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/disaster_relief_faq.html or call 1-800-252-5555.

For a comprehensive overview of the state’s activity related to Hurricane Ike response and recovery, please visit the Hurricane Center on the governor’s website.

At the state’s request, federal transitional housing assistance is available to Texan evacuees with inaccessible or uninhabitable homes. A constantly updated list of approved hotels/motels can be found at: www.femaevachotels.com. To register for transitional housing assistance, visit www.fema.gov or call toll free at 1-800-621-3362.

Texas residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Ike who evacuated to another state may call 1-877-541-7905 to reach the Texas 2-1-1 network and obtain information on how and where to apply for food stamp benefits or seek additional assistance. 

Texas residents displaced by Hurricane Ike who evacuated to another area of Texas may call 2-1-1 from any Texas landline or Texas cell phone to obtain information on how and where to apply for food stamp benefits or seek additional assistance.

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