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Harris County

Shutdown To Delay Harvey Recovery Work, Flood Mitigation

Harris County is likely to freeze some projects it’s paying for jointly with the federal government, rather than carry on alone and risk not getting reimbursed.


Lina Hidalgo (center) presided her first meeting as Harris County Judge in Houston on January 8, 2019.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo wants to make it easier for the public to get details about Harvey recovery and flood mitigation, but the federal government shutdown is prompting the county to put some of that work on hold.

The county will push ahead with work it's paying for on its own. But Russ Poppe, executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, is recommending a freeze on some projects that depend on federal block grants.

"Some of these federal programs, unfortunately, don't have pre-award authority, meaning that if we choose to go and advance these things locally, we're certainly at risk without getting reimbursed on something that would otherwise be eligible for reimbursement," Poppe says.

Harris County is currently moving forward on projects accounting for roughly $1.8 billion out of the $2.5 billion flood bond package voters approved last year.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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