Houston to receive federal funding for large-scale flood mitigation work
Houston officials recently announced that the city will receive federal funding for two of the city’s large-scale flood mitigation projects almost two years after Hurricane Harvey.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will award $46.9 million to the first phase of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project and the initial phase of the $47.1 million Lake Houston Dam Spillway Improvement Project.
FEMA will provide 75 percent of the costs for the Inwood project, the state is expected to provide 18.75 percent, and the city of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District will pay for the remaining costs.
The Inwood project will protect more than 4,400 structures in the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watersheds. The city and county aim to build 12 floodwater detention basins to hold a total of about 1,200 acre-feet of water. The city and the flood control district acquired the former golf course in 2011 as a potential flood mitigation facility. The initial Inwood project grant is $2.8 million for design with the city set to receive $44 million for construction, with a goal of completion by 2022. The project would take seven or eight years without federal funding.
Ten gates will be added to the Lake Houston Dam to allow for larger controlled releases of water in advance of heavy rains, protecting about 35,000 residents and 5,000 structures. The FEMA grant provides $4.3 million for the initial phase and positions the city to receive $42.7 million for construction, with a goal of completion by 2022.
FEMA also is awarding a total of $11.5 million to the Lone Star College System (Kingwood), the Clear Creek Independent School System, and the Texas Department of Transportation for “emergency protective measures” in parts of the city that flooded during Harvey.