AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry has requested that FEMA extend for 18 months its agreement to pay 100 percent of emergency protective measures and debris removal for Hurricane Ike. He also asked federal officials to adjust the federal cost share to 100 percent for all categories of public assistance and expand direct federal assistance and hazard mitigation for all counties included in the governor's original emergency declaration.

"Hurricane Ike did at least $11 billion in damage to our state," Gov. Perry said. "Texas deserves the same level of federal support and attention given to other states that have recently endured disasters."

In his letter to President Bush, Gov. Perry noted that Hurricane Ike may be the costliest disaster in the history of Texas. To date, more than 700,000 households have registered for individual assistance and more than $250 million has been disbursed to individuals.

In some cases regarding the local level costs of a disaster, the federal government will provide 75 percent reimbursement and the remaining 25 percent of costs must come from the pockets of the local jurisdictions. In his letter, Gov. Perry highlighted past instances where the federal cost share was adjusted to 100 percent reimbursement, including after the 2005 hurricane season in Louisiana and after Hurricane Andrew's devastation in Florida. He emphasized that Texas be treated no differently in the case of Hurricane Ike as many communities will require time and assistance to recover from this devastating storm.