Hurricane Ike roared into Texas on September 13, 2008. It was the seventh costliest hurricane to hit the United States, and total property damage in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas was $34.8 billion.
More than 11,000 people were unemployed due to Ike, ranchers lost animals, and damage was caused to the seafood industry in Galveston Bay. Hurricane Ike killed Texas oyster reefs, and millions of dollars were lost in the industry. Ike damaged pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico, destroyed 10 Gulf offshore oil rigs, and affected 22 Texas based oil refineries.
In the upper Texas Coast, we have over 6 million people, 6 of the top 50 ports (5 of these ports are located in Texas 14), in the United States, and is home to the largest concentration of the petrochemical complexes in North America. Our region plays a major role in the energy and economic security of the entire United States. When this administration transfers FEMA money ($10 million), to fund ICE detention operations, it puts a higher risk on the recovery of coastal residents. Climate change is real. The ferocity of our storms have increased, and while we cannot prevent storms from occurring, residents need help when devastation occurs. The lack of leadership, that should be fighting for FEMA dollars to remain as FEMA dollars to protect coastal residents, is evident. How much of that $10 million could have helped residents who are still struggling from Hurricane Harvey? This administration has the wrong priorities when it comes to helping the people, and we need to replace Representatives who will not take a stand for the people.