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Hidalgo County Awarded $9.9 Million from GLO for Drainage Project

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WESLACO – Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes is pleased to announce that Hidalgo County’s application for funding under the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) Mitigation 2015 HUD Most Impacted and Distressed program was approved for funding in the amount of $9,858,499.20. This funding will go toward Phase I of the Main Floodwater Channel Expansion Project – a critical drainage infrastructure improvement project that was identified as a main priority to prepare for and mitigate major flood events impacting areas in Hidalgo County.

This project was submitted as a competitive grant to GLO last year; the project met the grant program’s mitigation criteria of having an urgent mitigation need and comprised of low- and moderate- income beneficiaries.

Phase 1 of the Main Floodwater Channel Expansion Project will expand the width of approximately 3.5 miles of the Main Floodwater Channel’s capacity from 100 ft. to 350-400 ft. Doing so will increase the floodwater channel’s capacity by nearly 2 million cubic yards, which will help to mitigate widespread recurring and future flooding and protect the properties of low- and moderate-income households in the area.

“Our area has been devastatingly impacted by major flood events that have continuously and repeatedly caused widespread damage to homes and properties in Precinct 1, and our analysis showed that oversaturation of the Main Floodwater Channel during extreme rain events has contributed to a majority of subsequent flooding in Hidalgo County,” said Commissioner Fuentes. “We identified a solution that will help to increase the capacity of the floodwater channel, allow for more efficient flow of floodwaters out of our area, and reduce the propensity for flooding in nearby neighborhoods,” he added.

Fuentes and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres played a vital role in promoting the project and emphasizing its importance to agency representatives and decision makers at the state and federal levels. Fuentes and Torres, with the assistance of members of the South Texas federal legislative delegation, visited with officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Development and communicated frequently with officials at the state GLO to impress the need for this project.

“I am grateful that GLO recognized the importance of this project and identified it as a high priority to mitigate the effects of widespread flooding that has long impacted our area,” Fuentes continued.

“On behalf of my precinct, my colleagues on the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, and all the residents of Hidalgo County who will benefit from this mitigation project, we sincerely thank our partners at HUD and GLO, as well as our legislative representatives at the federal level, including U. S. Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who were instrumental in supporting our efforts to improve drainage infrastructure and future-proof our area against flooding in the future,” Fuentes ended.

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For more information please contact: Jose Pepe Cabeza de Vaca at: (956) 968-8733

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