The Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) announced last week that it received US$5.2 million from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as a part of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program to repair 26 flood control dam structures across six counties in Texas.
The federal funds will be put towards flood control dams that need vital repairs as a result of the heavy rainfall events of May 2015. The scope of repairs, totaling $6.1 million, ranges from auxiliary spillway repair to debris removal and embankment repair.
The following counties will receive funding to repair dam structures:
- Cooke County — six dams;
- Denton County — one dam;
- Ellis County — two dams;
- Guadalupe County — one dam;
- Montague County — five dams;
- Williamson County — two dams; and
- Wise County — nine dams.
According to analysis by London-based Impact Forecasting, the severe weather and floods that hit Texas and Oklahoma during May 2015 will likely result in $3 billion in economic losses and cost insurers more than $1 billion.
TSSWCB said it will dedicate an estimated $1.5 million of its funding from the Texas Legislature to ensure that all of the federal funding is adequately matched and utilized on a local level.
As part of the appropriations bill passed by Congress in December 2015, $157 million was made available to the NRCS for the EWP program.
The EWP was established by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters. It is designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms and other natural occurrences.