Fort Bend Receives $52 Million for Watershed Repairs

A flooded South Mason Road near Canyon Gate. Covering Katy photo

KATY (Covering Katy News) — Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers, who represents a large portion of the Katy area, recently announced that the Fort Bend County Drainage District has been awarded several multi-million dollar disbursements from the National Resource Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Program. These funds will be used to address construction costs and technical assistance for repairs and restoration to Precinct 3 bayous and creeks that were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

The NRCS funds total over $52 million dollars, awarded between eight different damage survey reports for the following watersheds: the Cane Island Branch of Willow Creek, Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou and Oyster Creek. This funding will cover 90 percent of the construction cost and Fort Bend County will cover the remaining 10 percent.

“In the wake of Harvey’s destruction, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Fort Bend County Drainage District have prioritized many miles of Precinct 3 drainage channels for repair and construction,” said Commissioner Meyers. “These funds from the Emergency Watershed Program will be carefully used to maximize and leverage the work that our own departments have been undertaking over the last seven months. Indeed, we hope that we will be able to obtain additional funding from FEMA to broaden the scope of work even further to various other channels damaged by Harvey.”

Fort Bend Commissioners Court voted to accept the first agreement for the Cane Island Branch damage survey report on Tuesday, April 10th. The Fort Bend County Drainage District has already obtained an engineer for the initial project and is working towards finalizing an agreement with a contractor to execute the scope of work. The Drainage District staff have been working for several months to document, apply, and respond to the NRCS program to expand the scope for erosion repair along these watersheds, and especially for Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou, all the way to the Grand Parkway.

Commissioner Meyers stated, “I wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Fort Bend County Drainage District, particularly by Chief Engineer Mark Vogler and Project Coordinator Adam Wright, to get us to this point of secured funding. The amount of damage and subsequent documentation that is required to satisfy federal funding requirements is a significant challenge and they have done our residents a tremendous service through this work. I look forward to continuing to work with them in the execution of these multiple agreements with combined efforts from various county departments and my office.”