City inspectors performing preliminary assessments of Harvey damage in Houston

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HOUSTON — There's still a lot of work left to be done to repair the damage left behind by Hurricane Harvey, but before a lot of the work can be started homeowners and the city need to know how bad the damage really is.

Inspectors with the Houston Department of Neighborhoods have been performing preliminary 'windshield' inspections to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency an idea of what kind of damage is out there and where it is most severe.

"The windshield assessment is actually part of the post-disaster response from FEMA," said Department of Neighborhoods Director TaKasha Francis. "Windshield assessments are simply going out into the neighborhoods, looking at the water lines on homes and trying to make an assessment of whether it's minor to major damage."

Inspectors have been working for several days and they've already documented damage in neighborhoods across the city of Houston.

"We've actually done over 13,000," said Department of Neighborhoods Deputy Assistant Director Reggie Harris. "What we're noticing is that each team we send a day they're averaging about 115 per team."

These preliminary assessments are not used to determine the amount of federal aid homeowners will receive from FEMA. Instead it helps the agency identify where the need is greatest. "We are actually mapping for FEMA where they need to go," Francis said.

Inspectors with FEMA will perform more in-depth inspections in the coming weeks. For now, the preliminary inspections will continue until homes in every area of the city have been surveyed.

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