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Hurricane Harvey

McCaul: Next Harvey Aid Bill Will Authorize Third Reservoir For Harris County

Congressman Michael McCaul said the bill will direct the Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on a reservoir in the Cypress Creek watershed, to protect the millions of residents who live between the existing Addicks and Barker Reservoirs and Galveston Bay


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McCaul and map
Andrew Schneider
Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX 10th District), standing by a map showing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control plan that produced the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. The new Cypress Creek Reservoir would be built in a region where the Corps had planned, but failed, to build a levee.


Congressman Michael McCaul says the federal government will build a third reservoir for Harris County. The reservoir would go in the Cypress Creek watershed, upstream from the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. McCaul says he'll make certain the next Harvey aid bill includes language directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on the project.

Early estimates put the cost of the project at about $600 million. Under McCaul's plan, much of the money would come from Corps and FEMA funding. But he says the main reason for putting the project in the Harvey supplemental is speed.

"If we went the normal process," the congressman said, "working through the Army Corps, it would take many years – five, maybe even up to ten. I don't think Cypress and Katy and the Greater Houston area can wait that long."

During Harvey, the overflow from Cypress Creek washed down into Addicks and Barker , threatening the integrity of their dams. More than 4 million people live between those dams and Galveston Bay.

"This is probably the highest priority in the state in terms of flood control for the number of people who would be affected and the number of people whose lives and homes we could save if we simply do what the federal government intended to do 70 years ago and ran out of money," said State Representative Mike Schofield.

The Army Corps of Engineers originally planned to build a levee in the Cypress Creek watershed in the 1940s, as part of the flood control project that included the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs.

Congress is expected to vote on the Harvey aid bill this month.


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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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