issues

Flooding

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Texas’ Congressional District 7 has been impacted by three major storms in the last three years; the Tax Day floods, the Memorial Day floods, and Hurricane Harvey. These flood events have caused millions of dollars in damage, and resulted in hundreds of families being displaced from their homes.

Flood control is an essential part of protecting our quality of life in Houston. I will continue to push for expedited completion of flood mitigation projects and additional funding to help rebuild flood damage.

Since 2002, I have secured:

  • $206 million in federal funds for Brays Bayou
  • $113.749 million in federal funds for Buffalo Bayou
  • $2.856 million in federal funds for White Oak Bayou
  • I have worked to secure an additional $74 million for flood control and storm damage reduction construction projects in the FY2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

Expediting Project Brays Bayou:

  • Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WINN) Act, and I included language to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite completion of Project Brays Bayou, which will remove 29,000 homes from the 100-year floodplain.
Texas Disaster Recovery Funding:
  • Houston received $66 million in February 2016
  • In September 2016, I led a Texas delegation letter to House leadership to advocate for Texas to receive disaster funding in the supplemental appropriations bill. This letter resulted in Texas receiving $45 million in disaster recovery funding in October 2016.
  • Texas received $177 million in disaster relief funding in December 2016.

I’m meeting regularly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Harris County Flood Control District, and the City of Houston to explore new solutions for Houston’s flooding problem. I will continue to work with my colleagues to develop strategic long-term solutions to prevent future flood damage.

Harvey Funding:

September 8, 2017 – First Disaster Supplemental 

$15.25 billion in overall funding

   -$7.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund

     -The Disaster Relief Fund is used by FEMA for response and recovery efforts following a major disaster.

     -This fund pays for things like hotel stays, home repair grants, rental assistance and other critical needs. 

     - It also funds repair and restoration of qualifying disaster damaged public Infrastructure, hazard mitigation initiatives, and financial assistance to eligible disaster survivors.

   -$7.4 billion – Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)

     - Texas received a $5.024 billion allocation of this funding.

     -These funds can be used for housing, business, infrastructure, and mitigation needs for communities to recover from disasters.

     -Housing recovery is a major aspect of this program, and individual homeowners can be eligible for rebuilding funds after pervious storms.

     -On February 9, HUD issued the Federal Register Notice with guidance for the grantees which is the next step towards getting this money to the communities that desperately need assistance.

     -The General Land Office administers these funds in Texas, and has developed an implementation plan, with community input, on how to allocate this money within the state.

     -Harris County and the City of Houston each received $1.1 billion of this funding, and will develop and implementation plan for their funds. 

   -$450 million – SBA Disaster Loan Program

     -These are low interest loans that are available to many individuals and businesses to help them recover from the storm. 

 October 10, 2017 – Second Disaster Supplemental 

 $36.5 billion in overall funding

   -$18.7 billion - FEMA Disaster Relief Fund o $16 billion - National Flood Insurance Program

     This funding was included to ensure they could meet all claims resulting from 2017 hurricane season.

 February 9, 2018 – Third Disaster Supplemental 

 $89.3 billion in overall funding

   -$23.5 billion - FEMA Disaster Relief Fund

   -$17.39 billion - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

     -$15.055 billion for repairs to ongoing construction projects, and to expedite construction projects that will help mitigate future disaster damage.

     -The completion of ongoing projects, such as Project Brays, would be at full Federal expense.

     -$10.425 billion of the construction funding will be used to expedite construction of projects for flood and storm damage reduction in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria. All authorized projects in Harris County, such as   Hunting Bayou, White Oak Bayou, and Clear Creek are eligible for this funding.

     -$4.63 billion of the construction funding will be used for projects in states that have had more than one flood-related major disaster since 2014. Harris County would also be eligible for this funding.

     -Construction funds could be used for projects that are studied as a result of the investigations the bill allows for. This will allow us to undertake studies for potential new projects such the 3rd reservoir, and have the funding available to begin construction.  

     -$608 million - Operation and Maintenance  This can be used for vital dredging of our federal navigation channels like the Port of Houston, which accumulated vast amounts of silt following Hurricane Harvey.

     -
$810 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies to repair damages

     -
$135 million to expedite high-priority studies to help mitigate future disaster damage

     -
$75 million would be available to areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

    -The remaining $60 million would be available to areas that have had more than one flood-related major disaster since 2014. Harris County would be eligible for this funding.  

   -
$28 billion - HUD CDBG-DR program

      -
Texas received a $5.035 billion allocation of this funding

      -
$652 million is for remaining unmet needs

      -
$4.383 billion is for mitigation to prepare for future storms

      -These funds will be allocated by HUD and administered by the Texas General Land Office.

      -The total CDBG-DR allocation for Texas following Hurricane Harvey is now over $9.808 billion. Including the mitigation funding provided in this announcement for storms since 2015, the total CDBG-DR funding Texas has received since 2015 is over $10.551 billion.

    -$1.65 billion - SBA disaster loan program.  

      -This will allow SBA to make up to $12.2 billion in disaster loans to small businesses and homeowners in all affected areas for recovery and rebuilding.

   -$2.79 billion - Department of Education

      -These funds will be used to restart operations in schools in affected areas, including school rebuilding and refurbishment and replacement of educational material. 

   -$1.87 billion – Department of Defense and Homeland Security

      -This provides adequate funding to repair Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Reserve, National Guard, Coast Guard, and medical military facilities, and to repair or replace equipment damaged by the hurricanes in all affected areas.

    -$1.374 billion - Department of Transportation 

       -This funding will to address all current damages to federal highways caused by designated disasters. These funds are provided directly to states and localities for repairs. The bill also includes $330 million to help communities restore hurricane-damaged mass transit systems.

 Total Funding Provided for 2017 Disasters 

Over $141 billion in overall funding including:

   -$49.4 billion - FEMA Disaster Relief Fund

   -$35.4 billion – Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery 

   -$17.39 billion - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

   -$16 billion - National Flood Insurance Program 

   -$12.2 billion – SBA Disaster Loans

   -$2.79 billion – Department of Education

   -$1.87 billion – Department of Defense and Homeland Security 

    -$1.374 billion – Department of Transportation 


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