Texas Governor Announces New Flood Control Measures

"It has been a trying time for this community as we work through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," Gov. Abbott said March 15. "I want to assure all Texans that I am committed to working with the federal government and local officials to protect life and property from uncontrolled flood waters."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced new flood control and prevention measures during a March 15 visit to Kingwood. The governor took an aerial tour to survey damage along the San Jacinto River and met with community leaders and elected officials to discuss Hurricane Harvey recovery and flood prevention efforts.

"It has been a trying time for this community as we work through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," Abbott said. "I want to assure all Texans that I am committed to working with the federal government and local officials to protect life and property from uncontrolled flood waters. I thank these local leaders for all they have done in their communities, and I want to assure them that we will continue working to make Texas more resilient to future flood events."

The measures he announced to help prevent future flooding include:

  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, the Texas Department of Emergency Management has authorized $3 million to jump start the engineering and permitting process to determine where dredging should on the San Jacinto River and has authorized $2 million for a regional study focused on the river's watershed to prevent future flooding.
  • Also using Hazard Mitigation Funds, FEMA has approved more than 900 voluntary buyouts in Harris County.
  • Instructing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate and take action against sand mining operations that are violating regulations.
  • Directing the San Jacinto River Authority to immediately identify what can be done to prevent flood events along the West Fork of the river and to implement immediate and long-term solutions to protect lives and property of Texans living in the watershed.
  • Also directing the authority to identify funding to implement a long-term plan that better protects areas downstream from Lake Conroe.

The San Jacinto River Authority manages the Lake Conroe Dam; its releases from the dam in the immediate aftermath of Harvey sparked hundreds of lawsuits against the authority.

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