Harris County will receive $750 million after all to go toward preventing flooding after Harvey

Jeff Ehling Image
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Harris County has until 2026 to spend Harvey relief funds
Harris County is finding itself in a use or lose it situation when it comes to Hurricane Harvey relief funds. Here's what to know.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Nearly six years after Hurricane Harvey devastated our area, Harris County is getting $750 million to prevent flooding.

This is a major shift from just two years ago when the General Land Office told local leaders Harris County would not receive any federal funds for flood control.

"We are literally in a use it or lose it situation as these federal dollars go away if they are not deployed by 2026," said GLO Commissioner Dawn Buckingham.

Buckingham says her office is committed to helping Harris County finish flood control projects that have been on the board since Hurricane Harvey.

"I'm so proud that she was able to recognize that we've got to do better. We've got to reset. So when we had our initial conversation, that's what it was all about. How do we work better together?" said Pct. 2 Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

The money has to be used by 2026, which sounds like a long time, but when it comes to large-scale projects, it's a short window of opportunity.

"The work we do involves a lot of engineering, it involves a lot of planning, it involves a lot of administration, just to get to a construction project, and so the work to get to having something that is shovel ready can take several years," said Tina Peterson with Harris County Flood Control District,

The $750 million would be used to help build detention ponds that absorb and hold water while a flood is happening as well as to improve the flow of water in channels and bayous so that the water can hopefully quickly go through neighborhoods and out to the Gulf of Mexico. Those projects would ideally be designed in such a way that we never see the type of devastation left behind by Hurricane Harvey again.


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