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Judge Hidalgo: County Working at Full Speed on Projects Designed to Spare Thousands of Homes from Flooding
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May 12, 2020

Judge Hidalgo: County Working at Full Speed on Projects Designed to Spare Thousands of Homes from Flooding

75-million-gallon Basin Improvement at Fairbanks-North Houston Nears Completion; One of 459 Engineering/Planning Projects Advancing Across Region

Tuesday, May 12 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said construction work on high-impact flood mitigation projects such as the Fairbanks-North Houston Stormwater detention basin, which will add 75 million gallons in stormwater capacity, has continued unabated during the COVID-19 crisis and Stay Home-Work Safe order.

“COVID-19 put the brakes on many aspects of life in Harris County, but it hasn’t slowed our flood control projects,” Judge Hidalgo said at the construction site. “This is a superhuman effort focused on major improvements, across all precincts, designed to spare homes from flooding.” 

The Fairbanks-North Houston excavation project, which will be completed this week, will increase the basin’s total capacity to 1.9 billion gallons - enough to fill NRG Stadium three times. The project is part of the White Oak Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project, a $124 million joint effort between the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As Harris County heads into the 2020 Hurricane Season starting June 1, the Flood Control District continues its work to complete a total of 459 currently active engineering and planning projects arising from the $2.5 billion Bond Program, with more than $330 million in current spending authorizations. Since January, Harris County has awarded over $136 million in flood damage reduction projects and is on track to bid out over $500 million in construction this year.

Virtual meetings and electronic document-sharing have enabled projects to move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-bid meetings are conducted via teleconference and bids are live-streamed on the Harris County website.
“I’m extremely proud of the Flood Control District staff for staying focused throughout this extraordinary time. The Flood Control District realizes that floods can happen at any time, so it is imperative that our mission-critical work continues,” said Matt Zeve, Harris County Flood Control District Deputy Executive Director.
The Fairbanks-North Houston stormwater detention basin project is one of 10 stormwater detention sites along White Oak Bayou which total almost 500 acres in combined size, utilized local funds to secure federal funding. Securing partnership funding is an ongoing priority for Harris County, and the Flood Control District has secured $652 million in partnership funds via agreements. Combined with $230 million in local funds this totals $883 million for partnership projects.


Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is the head of Harris County’s governing body and Director of the Harris County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Judge Hidalgo, alongside four County Precinct Commissioners, oversees a budget of approximately $5 billion that funds services and institutions for the third-largest county in the nation, home to nearly 5 million people. For more information about Harris County and the Office of the County Judge, please visit:


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