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Texas Border Business

EDINBURG – The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Tuesday called on the Biden Administration to fix dangerous breaches to several parts of the county’s protective levee system that was caused by construction of a border wall.

The “Hidalgo County Commissioners Court calls on the Biden Administration to temporarily lift its border wall construction ban and order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to direct contractors to rebuild the levees to an equal-to or better-than preconstruction state so as to mitigate the danger of flooding to our community,” the resolution reads.

Border wall construction began during the Trump Administration and entailed construction atop or adjacent to a federally owned levee system that acts as a protective barrier to flooding along the Rio Grande. When President Biden took office he ordered the immediate halt to such construction. However, contractors had breached the earthen levee system along several points in Hidalgo County. Some of the breaches are wide enough to allow large construction vehicle to drive through.

When construction was halted, however, the breaches were left open causing concern that several populated areas, particularly in Southwestern Hidalgo County, now face the prospect of massive flooding if the protective levees are not fixed and the Rio Grande floods.

Hidalgo County officials recently spoke with a representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the border wall construction project. The official told Hidalgo County representatives that the Department of Homeland Security would first have to authorize the levees to be fixed, then it would still take months for the restoration to be complete. This comes just one month before hurricane season officially begins and just weeks before the rainy season begins.

“This is potentially a critical threat to the safety of our community,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said. “This levee is a vital safety feature to flood-prone areas and we need them to be fixed.”

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