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Texas Leaders Push Congress For Flood Control Aid

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is working with the state’s congressional delegation to get funding for long-sought water infrastructure projects into the next Harvey relief bill. That could include money to build a third reservoir for Houston.


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Craig LeMoult | For Houston Public Media
The water rushing out of the Addicks Reservoir.

Hurricane Harvey could be adding a new sense of urgency for Congress to fund long-needed flood control projects. One of the projects getting some fresh attention involves building a third reservoir, to the northwest of Houston.

Congress has already approved a Harvey aid package but it doesn't cover big infrastructure projects. That could come next, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is pushing Congress to help pay for projects to reduce the flood risk in Houston.

Last week Patrick told Fox News Radio: "We need more levees. We need more reservoirs. We need a coastal barrier. These are expensive items, and we're working with [Senators John] Cornyn and [Ted] Cruz and our congressional delegation this right."

Houston's two reservoirs, the Addicks and Barker, both overflowed during Harvey. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett spoke about the challenges of building a third reservoir in the Cypress Creek area in a Facebook Live interview with Houston Matters.

"Years ago, it was decided not to build it because nobody was ever going to live that far out," said Emmett. "Well obviously we've grown, and now it makes it more difficult to construct it because the land's become more valuable." Anyone now living on that land would have to be bought out before a reservoir could be built.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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