Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo appeals to feds in Washington for flood help to end 'vicious cycle'

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024
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WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appealed to federal officials in Washington on Wednesday, hoping to speed up the process of buying out homes that flood repeatedly.

After last week's widespread flooding across multiple counties, Hidalgo said she wanted to help those who no longer wish to stay in their homes.

Roughly 50 Harris County homes were damaged in the flooding from the San Jacinto River. Hidalgo said the process is slow for homes that flood repeatedly. She met with FEMA and a senior White House advisor to quicken the process, later speaking with ABC13 via Zoom in the afternoon.

"Because if you don't have the money available to buy people out when they're ready, they're gonna be forced to rebuild," Hidalgo told Eyewitness News. "And that is this vicious cycle where they don't want to continue living there. But they can't afford to live somewhere else, and we don't want them to continue living there because we know, no matter what the control project we build, they're always gonna flood there."

SEE ALSO: Texas flood victim assistance: Where to get food, shelter and other services

She also said Harris County may fall short of the threshold for federal grants to help those impacted as her team searches for damage.

"They're literally driving around all the streets that were affected or, we believe, might have been affected, and just trying to understand what the level of impact was," she said. "That will also affect our ability to get federal funding in terms of Small Business Administration loans, low-interest loans."

She said that those still dealing with cleanup in Harris County or those looking for assistance should call the county's 211 helpline to connect with the right resources.

SEE ALSO: Want to help Texas flood victims? Here's how to bring comfort and hope

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