Hurricane Relief Tied Up in Budget Delay

Tens of billions of dollars in hurricane relief money may be delayed if Congress decides to break for Christmas without passing a long-term spending plan.

At stake is $81 billion for both hurricane relief in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and money for California wildfires.  Auggie Campbell, president of the West Houston Association, says local officials are counting on their share.

“You have projects on Braes Bayou, Greens Bayou, White Oak and one other that have already been approved and partially funded by the Army Corps, so those projects are likely to be done first,” he says.

The group also is looking to assist with Judge Ed Emmett's 15-point flood plan.

“One of the things he has in his plan that we also have in ours is a third reservoir that would be located on the Katy Prairie, that is around a $500 million project and take about 10 years to complete that project,” says Campbell.

The West Houston Association also wants to remove tons of silt from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

“If they could take the silt out, that would add literally tens of thousands of acre-feet of capacity inside the reservoirs so you're less likely to flood houses on the back side, and less likely to create the urban tsunami risk on the front side.”

Governor Greg Abbott has said the state needs $61 billion in federal money to help with recovery costs.

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