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Look now for federal funds to clean up abandoned buildings

While the city of Port Arthur, FEMA, county officials and countless other agencies are working hard to house our evacuees, some attention should be paid to the houses as well as to the people.

Port Arthur has long had numerous abandoned properties both residential and business. Now that many of these are flood damaged, these unwanted properties are poised to become serious health hazards as well as even worse eyesores. Furthermore, in addition to the existing abandoned properties, we suspect that new properties will be added to the long list after the flood.

A bad problem is probably going to get worse.

Now that federal aid is coming, local leaders and our congressional representatives must make an effort to secure funding for demolitions. That funding could come from community development block grants or via Harvey-specific rebuilding funds but whatever the route, we need those funds here.

If there is a way to make a bad situation better, securing dollars to clean up our town would be a great silver lining.