US military officials have said that the Navy will send up to $300 million to rebuild damaged ships following Hurricane Harvey, which left more than 90 percent of Houston’s population without power.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Tuesday ordered the Navy to provide the funds to help rebuild damaged boats, planes and other vessels damaged during Hurricane Harvey.
“This is not just a disaster relief operation,” the Navy’s Vice Adm.
John W. Odom, the acting commander of the US Navy, told reporters.
“We’re rebuilding these ships and they are the only ones that are safe to do that.”
Odom said that Navy ships had already been repaired and would be in the water again by Wednesday, but he did not provide any details on how many were currently in the repair process.
FEMA and the Pentagon had previously said that a total of 2,400 of the damaged ships were in the waters of Texas.
Oday said that if the Navy is able to restore all the ships, it would provide $250 million to $350 million in grants and loan guarantees for new vessels.
O’Donnell said that after the initial recovery, the Navy would then start to make repairs on some of the ships.
“The Navy is in the process of making repairs on about 2,300 vessels and is looking to be able to do about 500,” he said.
He said that during the recovery, FEMA was in touch with some of those affected by the storm and that the agency was working to identify the most likely locations where the remaining vessels could be repaired.
Odehons Navy said that there were 3,700 Navy vessels damaged in Hurricane Harvey and that it had already repaired more than 3,000 of them.
The Navy has been working with FEMA to help repair and replace boats that were damaged during the storm.
The agency said in September that it would begin to provide a limited amount of money for the repair work in 2018, but Odom told reporters that it was still at a very early stage of the process.
“Right now we are at a point where we’re seeing progress,” Odom added.
“It is still in the very early stages of what we need to do.”
The Navy also said that it expects to complete repairs on the remaining 5,000 boats by the end of the year, but that the work was being handled by private contractors and that there was a long road ahead.
“A lot of work still has to be done,” Odehm said.
“There are a lot of boats that need to be replaced.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said that at least 13 of the Navy ships damaged in Harvey had been repaired.