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Residents happy to hear about federal money allocated for flood-prevention improvements

HOUSTON – Those still rebuilding from Harvey’s wrath said the infusion of federal dollars has given them some hope.

“It's taken almost a year to reconstruct and we could finish and it could do it again,” said Ann Purcell.

Purcell's home on River Forest Drive near Kirkwood Road flooded twice during Harvey. The first time from the rain, the second time from the torrents of water released into Buffalo Bayou from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs.

“It takes a 3 1/2-foot flood to make you appreciate a 6-inch, in and out, same day flood,” said David Purcell.

Some of the federal dollars will be spent on improvement along the bayou. More money will be spent to study flooding along Buffalo Bayou and its tributaries, as well as the feasibility of adding a third reservoir.

Houston area Rep. John Culberson helped secure this funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The money is on its way,” Culberson said. “We can expect to see dirt began to turn and move well before the end of the year.”

Despite the federal funding, officials with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s office said the upcoming bond referendum is still needed. The county is giving voters the chance to approve $2.5 billion in bonds for flood control projects and repairs from Harvey.

Joe Stinebaker with Emmett’s office said the federal dollars do not cover all the needs in Harris County.

Stinebaker said the bond money is needed for repairs from Harvey, detention basins, home buyouts, channel improvements in all Harris County watersheds and a more robust flood warning system.