HOUSTON, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Texas governor Tuesday announced that 1 billion U.S. dollars will be allocated from federal government for hazard and flood mitigation projects designed to both help Texas rebuild and reduce the risk of future damage from flooding and hurricanes.
Greg Abbott joined local leaders in Rockport and Houston, Texas, to announce the availability of new funding for hazard mitigation projects along the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey last year.
This allocation of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be operated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Cities and counties can submit applications for projects starting Tuesday.
"Texas has maintained from the beginning that we would rebuild in ways that reduce the risk of future damage to property and lives, and that's exactly what these funds are for," said Abbott.
"While this announcement is another important step toward recovery, we still have more work ahead of us, and I want to reassure every Texan impacted by Harvey that we will not let up until your homes and communities are restored," he continued.
The new hazard mitigation funds can be used in a number of ways, including buyouts and elevations of flood prone properties, drainage and reservoir projects that eliminate future flooding, projects to lessen the frequency or severity of flooding, flood risk reduction projects such as dams, retention basins, levees, floodwalls, as well as large-scale channeling of waterways.
Of the estimated 1 billion dollars of funding that Texas will receive, 500 million dollars are available on Tuesday, while the remainder will be provided on before Aug. 25, 2018. Additional funds may also become available as FEMA continues to process and approve project requests from Texas cities and counties.
Harvey blew ashore on Aug. 25, 2017 as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and damaging nearly 200,000 homes.