Texas Receives Federal Funding for Flood Control
Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas gulf coast in mid-August last year, making landfall as a Category 4 storm and dumping more than 27 trillion gallons of rain across the state. Harvey caused severe flooding that damaged and destroyed homes, making it one of the costliest hurricanes to hit the United States mainland, second only to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recently announced that Texas will receive approximately $5 billion in funding for various flood control projects throughout the state. This funding comes from a disaster relief package passed by Congress earlier this year.
The bulk of the approved funding—nearly $4 billion—will be expended in the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management and Ecosystem Restoration Project. The project entails the construction of nearly 27 miles of new levees and the fortification of 30 miles of existing levees along the coast.
Additional projects that benefit from this funding include safety improvements to the Barker and Addicks dams ($1.5 million) and completion of flood control projects in the Houston area ($295.2 million). The flood control projects to be completed include three major bayou widening projects with a combined price tag of $185 million.
Finally, some $10 million will go toward studies of Houston area watersheds, the reduction of Buffalo Bayou flooding, and the determination of future projects which will best protect the Texas coast from hurricane storm surge.
Allocation of these federal disaster relief funds comes on the eve of a $2.5 million bond election slated to be held in Harris County on August 25th—the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. If passed, the bond would fund various flood protection projects, including improvements to drainage and warning systems, as well as home buyouts and the construction of additional detention basins.
Lauren Scroggs is an associate attorney at the Houston office of Andrews Myers, P.C. Her practice focuses primarily on construction law. She advocates for general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and owners in various capacities, including negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, litigation and appeals.
NACM Editorial Associate Andrew Michaels contributed to this article.