The projects include voluntary buyouts, dredging of the San Jacinto River and a regional flood study
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced $5 million in initial funding for flood control projects in Kingwood, a northeastern area of Harris County, Texas. Abbott also announced $3 million in funding pre-approved for dredging the San Jacinto River and $2 million pre-approved for a regional study that will assess methods to prevent future flooding along the San Jacinto River. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than 900 voluntary buyouts in Harris County.
While the Harris County Flood Control District still needs to submit a final application for approval by the Texas Department of Emergency Management and FEMA, the application has already been pre-approved by both agencies. Gov. Abbott’s office said that the funds will come from the state’s Hazard Mitigation Fund, which is collected from FEMA by the state for redistribution.
Gov. Abbott said that a helicopter tour he took of the region with Houston City Councilman Dave Martin made clear the flooding problem, as reported by U.S. News.
“I witnessed a stunning number of sand mining operations all up and down the river, and [was] able to understand more comprehensively the way in which these sand mining operations contribute sand and silt into the river,” Abbott said. In response, Abbott asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate illegal sand mining.