KOUNTZE, Texas, September 1, 2017 – Due to continued flooding and ongoing power outages throughout the region, all Big Thicket National Preserve facilities will remain closed through Sunday, September 3rd, 2017. Distribution of 2017-18 Hunting Permits will begin next week once the visitor center can safely reopen.

Reliant is proud to power and assist our customers and communities in Houston and beyond. As Hurricane Harvey response and relief efforts continue, many Reliant customers have contacted our customer support agents with questions regarding their current electricity services. Reliant appreciates and understands our customers’ concerns, and wishes to remind everyone of the following:

Through Saturday, September 30, 2017, there will be no disconnection of residential or small business electricity service, no late fees and no deposits required for any customer accounts impacted by Harvey, regardless of financial circumstances. Safety-related disconnections remain possible at all times, to ensure no one is in harm’s way.

This policy applies to Reliant customers in the CenterPoint (CNP), American Electric Power Central (AEPC) and Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) transmission and distribution utility service areas, which generally covers Houston, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Rockport and surrounding communities. Customers should direct outage-related questions to their specific transmission and distribution utility, and specific counties currently covered are listed below:

Texas today announced it is providing a surge of food benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in the 58 counties included in the State Disaster Declaration following Hurricane Harvey.

SNAP recipients in the affected counties will see their September benefits automatically loaded today, Sept. 1, onto their Lone Star Cards. Normally benefits are staggered among recipients throughout the first half of the month. With this change, Texas will issue $160 million in benefits early to more than 600,000 SNAP households in counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Saturday, Sept. 2, SNAP recipients in the affected counties will see a percentage of their August benefits automatically added to their Lone Star Cards to replace food that was lost during the storm. With this change, Texas will issue replacement benefits to more than 716,000 SNAP households in the affected counties.

There is no action required by the recipient to receive either of these additional benefits. Both are the result of federal approval of waivers requested by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission from USDA Food and Nutrition Service following Hurricane Harvey.

“This is an unprecedented disaster. We’re doing everything we can for Texans and members of our own HHS family who were affected by this terrible storm. Our staff are working fast to roll the benefits out to people in need,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. “Texans dealing with the aftermath of Harvey need access to food benefits to replace what they lost in the storm.”

To ensure food benefits are continued seamlessly for those impacted by the storm, Texas also requested and received federal approval to automatically extend benefits for six months for certain recipients who were up for renewal in the affected areas. No action is needed by the recipient.

To provide additional support to SNAP recipients who were evacuated or are unable to prepare foods as a result of the storm, Texas previously requested and received federal approval to allow the purchase of hot foods with SNAP benefits through Sept. 30. SNAP recipients can now use their benefits for hot foods and ready-to-eat foods, such as rotisserie chicken or grocery store deli foods at retailers that accept SNAP anywhere in the state. HHSC quickly made requests for these actions following Hurricane Harvey and reports of food lost during power outages and flooding caused by the storm.

Texas also is continuing discussions with the federal government about the possibility of a Disaster-SNAP waiver that would offer short-term food assistance benefits to eligible families recovering after they return home following the disaster. D-SNAP benefits would be available in a phased approach in the coming weeks to eligible people who are not currently receiving SNAP and are residents of one of the counties that have a federal disaster declaration.

Recipients are encouraged to use YourTexasBenefits.com or the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage and view benefit information and to update HHSC of any address changes. Recipients also are encouraged to sign up for electronic notices to stay informed about their cases.

To check benefit amounts, recipients can visit YourTexasBenefits.com or call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).

For more information about benefits, go to YourTexasBenefits.com, or dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-541-7905. 

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and caused significant damage and flooding in numerous counties forcing many to evacuate to temporary locations.

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to sharing pertinent Hurricane Harvey information with you via a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on a daily basis. The attached document will provide Medicaid and CHIP MCOs with the tools and resources needed to ensure the provision of services and supports to needy residents in Texas in the aftermath of this natural disaster.

PLEASE NOTE: The attached PDF includes information that has been updated since yesterday evening.

Next Constable’s Delinquent Tax & Execution Auction Scheduled for October 3, 2017

Houston, TX - The Constable’s Delinquent Tax & Execution Auction, scheduled for Tuesday, September 5, is canceled due to the ongoing effects of Tropical Storm Harvey. There will be no tax or execution auction for the month of September.

The Trustee Auction will be conducted as usual starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Bayou City Event Center, 9401 Knight Rd., Houston, TX. Trustee auctions, while conducted at the same location and time as the Constable Delinquent Tax Auction, are not conducted by Harris County.

The next Constable’s Delinquent Tax & Execution Auction will be October 3, 2017. For additional information, see the Tax Office website at www.hctax.net.

Taxpayers who have questions about their tax bill or would like to locate the most convenient branch, may call 713-274- 8000, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.hctax.net.

The Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office maintains more than 1.6 million property accounts and collects for 71 taxing entities. The Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office collects more than $6 billion in property taxes.