- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Federal officials have approved nearly $40 million in disaster assistance for 13 East Texas counties slammed by March heavy rain, tornadoes and flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday announced the assistance for individuals and families.

The affected areas are Erath (EE’-rath), Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hood, Jasper, Limestone, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Shelby and Tyler counties.

The FEMA funds include more than $17 million in grants to help eligible survivors with home repairs and temporary rental costs. More than $18 million will be available as low-interest disaster loans.

Heavy rain - as much as 20 inches over several days - led to flooding that forced thousands of East Texas residents to evacuate and intermittent closure of Interstate 10 near Beaumont.

Wednesday was the deadline to register for federal help.




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