Federal funding for Harvey recovery approved

HOUSTON – The bill signed by President Trump to end the short-lived government shutdown means much more to the city of Houston.

The measure also gave the green light to federal funds to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery.

The road to recovery after Harvey has been a long one. The long-term budget agreement not only ended the government shutdown, but also opened the door for billions of dollars in much needed relief money for storm victims.

The funds, totaled $89.3 billion is all-encompassing ... it will help with recovery efforts after Harvey in Texas, but also storm victims in Louisiana, Florida as well as Puerto Rico.

Texas Rep. John Culberson said the money will also help fund flood control projects in Harris County, such as Brays Bayou, and research for a third reservoir.

Culberson said Texas is a priority when it comes to distributing those funds.

"There's enough money in this bill to fund every federally authorized flood control project in southeast Texas, and we are at the front of the line to get that money to make sure the Brays Bayou project is finished," Culberson said.

He said they can finish those projects and that there's enough money in the bill to get people compensated for the damage that they suffered.

Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner released this statement in response to the new federal budget law that includes disaster relief funding. 

"I'm relieved to see Congress moving forward on funding for the Hurricane Harvey recovery and future flood mitigation in our metropolitan area.

"The funding emphasis on protection against the next deluge, or storm surge from the gulf, has been a key part of my plea to the federal government. Merely funding a recovery would be 'funding for failure' because without flood.

“Mitigation projects we'd have to restart the expensive recovery after the next storm.”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett released the following statement on Congressional passage of a budget agreement:

"I am relieved and grateful that Congress has finally acted on our many requests to assist Harris County and Texas in rebuilding from one of the worst weather catastrophes in American history.

"Unfortunately, recovery is a long, ongoing process, and I hope that the funds approved by Congress can be made available quickly.

"And now that Congress has acted, we move on to the next stages, which is to request action from the State of Texas on our joint city-county request for at least $200 million in aid to shore up our damaged flooding infrastructure. With that in hand, the county can finally move forward in funding its own mitigation and buy-back programs."

Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement: 

“Today’s passage of disaster funding marks another crucial step forward as Texans continue to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of Harvey, and I thank the Texas delegation and leaders in Congress for taking action to pass this critical recovery package.

"The much-needed funding included in the bill for flood mitigation projects, housing and infrastructure repairs, will provide a meaningful benefit to Texas. While Texans will continue to struggle in Harvey’s wake long after today’s vote, our resilient spirit remains strong, and we will continue working at the federal, state and local levels to ensure we emerge from this disaster stronger than ever.”