$28M flood damage reduction pilot program includes Greens Bayou

The Harris County Flood Control District and one of its federal partners, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), signed a partnership agreement for flood damage reduction improvement projects in the Armand Bayou, Greens Bayou, and White Oak Bayou watersheds. The agreement will fund a $28 million pilot project to restore the natural floodplain and to reduce flooding risks in the project areas.

“Through our conservation programs, NRCS can help communities address serious and long-lasting damages as a result of natural disasters,” said Kristy Oates, NRCS acting state conservationist for Texas. “This pilot project allows NRCS and the Harris County Flood Control District to cooperatively restore floodplains while mitigating flood risks.”

The agreement was approved by Harris County Commissioners Court on October 8, 2019 and jointly signed thereafter.

“This partnership is yet another important step we are taking to build a more resilient Harris County,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “As we witnessed yet again with Tropical Storm Imelda, we are ground zero for catastrophic flooding in Texas. The good news is we are not powerless against this challenge. By moving forward with projects like this we will deliver long-term benefits to our residents and build upon Harris County’s work to lead the nation in innovative solutions to flood control and mitigation.”

The NRCS Program helps eligible entities implement emergency recovery measures to relieve imminent hazards to life or property caused by a natural disaster. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance for measures that reduce threats to life or property from a watershed impairment, including sediment and debris removal and also provide protection from additional flooding or soil erosion. In addition to implementing emergency measures, assistance is available to purchase floodplain easements.

To date, the NRCS has provided more than $80 million in funding for drainage infrastructure repair and improvement projects across Harris County.