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Statement from Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez on the border levee situation

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Texas Border Business

Richard Cortez

EDINBURG – “This is very simple: the federal government does not seem to have the same sense of urgency that I have. So I have asked county work crews and some independent contractors to begin to assess the process and the costs of fixing four major breaches in our protective levee system that were caused by federal contractors. Should we find it necessary to use local resources to fix the damage of these federal contractors, it is my intent to seek reimbursement from the federal government of any cost incurred to our taxpayers.

Hidalgo County continues to communicate with federal officials about their responsibility to fix these breaches. As director of emergency management for Hidalgo County, my sole objective is to keep the residents of Hidalgo County safe and these breaches in the levee system represent a significant threat to the lives and property of tens of thousands of our residents as the June 1 hurricane season approaches.

I am also in touch with our legal counsel to assess my authority as director of emergency management as it relates to conducting emergency repairs on federally controlled property. But I must emphasize: my duty is to protect the safety of the residents of Hidalgo County and, currently, that entails getting these levee breaches repaired.”

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