Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told the City Council this week Houston needs $500 million to build a third reservoir to prevent future flood damage.
Of course, following the impacts of the most expensive hurricane to date, the city is pretty strapped for cash.
This is, perhaps, why he proposed a pan to request aid from the federal government, similar to the aid packages approved for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and for New York after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Turner also reportedly called on Houstonians to send photos and videos of the damage done to their homes to Texas Senators and House Members in an effort to spur action and approve the aid package.
He further said Texans’ reputation for independence and resistance to government interference may work against them in getting such a federal aid package, as outsiders may see Houston capable of turning things around on its own.
District D Council Member Dwight Boykins brought up the fact of how Houston would need to raise at least 10 percent of the amount required for the aid package before it could receive federal approval.
Turner explained the city could get this amount from the state for debris removal, but said he is not sure this would satisfy the federal requirements.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett previously proposed building a third reservoir north of the sites of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs – both overwhelmed with floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey and their infrastructures, some parts of which first went into place as early as the 1930s.
During an interview, Emmett told a local TV station the third bayou site could relieve pressure on the 70-year-old reservoirs in the event of another massive storm.
“It’s just time to take a whole new comprehensive look at what we’re doing here,” Emmett said. “With the technology in this country, we can do anything. But guess what? It costs money, so people have to decide, ‘How much money do you want to spend?'”