HOUSTON — Authorities lifted an evacuation order for the area surrounding a once-burning chemical plant and a major fuel pipeline reopened on Monday as Texas continued to deal with the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The storm dumped some 50 inches of rain on the low-lying Gulf coastal region after coming ashore on Aug. 25, killing more than 50 people and causing what the Texas governor said could be up to $180 billion in damage.

Flooding led to a series of fires at the Arkema SA chemical plant in Crosby, a town of about 2,300 people some 25 miles northeast of Houston. Containers of chemicals which are unstable if not kept refrigerated started igniting Thursday after power outages cut off cooling systems.

Local firefighters under the watch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality performed a controlled burn of organic peroxides Sunday to eliminate any vestiges and reduce the danger.

On Monday, the company said the Crosby Fire Department had lifted a 1.5-mile evacuation zone around the plant, allowing neighbors to return to their homes, and that the company had opened an assistance center to help those affected find temporary housing.

The lifting of the order may help residents such as Paul Mincey, a 31-year-old tugboat engineer who has been kept out of the ranch home he shares with his girlfriend, return to normal.

“It could be full of snakes for all we know. We have no idea what’s in there,” Mincey said from aboard a tugboat in the Houston Ship Channel, which he said was polluted by floating railroad ties, trees and trash strewn by the storm.

Like others forced from the evacuation zone, Mincey said he was eager to assess water damage and begin repairs while hoping for financial aid to deal with property damage.

How to pay?

The question of how to pay for hurricane recovery was also consuming Washington after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday increased his damage estimate to between $150 billion and $180 billion.

Some 190,000 homes were damaged and an additional 13,500 destroyed, the Texas Department of Public Safety said on Monday.

At least 33,000 people sought refuge in Texas shelters overnight, with another 1,300 doing so in Louisiana, the American Red Cross said.

Republicans and Democrats returning to Washington after a month-long break will need to put political differences aside in order to approve an aid package. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday challenged Congress to raise the government’s debt limit in order to free up relief spending.

The House of Representatives will vote Wednesday on $7.85 billion in emergency relief funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration and plans another vote later this month on a separate $6.7 billion sought by President Donald Trump.

In one indication of funding needs, the Texas Department of Public Safety on Monday estimated damage to public property at $382.3 million.

As the recovery from Harvey picked up speed, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in preparation for the arrival of Irma, a dangerous Category 3 hurricane.

Irma, which is forecast to strengthen Tuesday night, is set to hit the U.S. territory Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Current models do not show Irma entering the Gulf of Mexico, where Harvey dealt a major blow to the most important energy hub in the United States, taking up to one-fourth of the country’s oil refining capacity offline and driving up fuel prices.

But Colonial Pipeline, the largest American fuel system, said on Monday it would restart a segment of its pipeline in Texas that had been cut off, enabling it to restore the flow distillates such as diesel fuel from Texas to New Jersey.

The gasoline pipeline was due to resume operations Tuesday, the company said.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday allowed some barge traffic to enter Port Arthur, Texas, home of the country’s largest oil refinery, and is considering allowing ships to enter on Tuesday, a spokesman said.

Ships are not yet allowed to enter the port along the Neches River because of extreme river currents from Hurricane Harvey, said Scott Whalen, director of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Vessel Tracking Service at Port Arthur.

The largest crude oil processor in the United States, Motiva Enterprises’ Port Arthur Refinery, sits along the port. The 603,000 barrel per day refinery is one of the largest producers of gasoline in the United States.

Port Arthur, the Port of Beaumont and Port of Orange are deep water ports on the Sabine-Neches waterway near the Texas-Louisiana border and are the only three of 28 ports on the Texas coast still closed to ship traffic due to Harvey.

Survey results of the port were due Monday evening, and following an assessment the Coast Guard will determine if the port can reopen Tuesday, Whalen said. Any reopening would entail restrictions such as daylight operations and on vessel draft, or depth.

“We are hoping to move it tomorrow,” he said. “We’ll try Port Arthur first and see how far we can get. Pilots do not feel it is safe to get ships into those areas.”

The Coast Guard currently has a two loaded barge limit for the Neches River, Whalen said.