Feds free up nearly $5 billion in Harvey relief funds as Mayor Turner tours Lake Houston clean-up efforts

HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner and other local leaders met at Lake Houston Friday to take a closer look at post-Harvey debris removal.

"They've been removing like 1 to 2,000 cubic yards a day," the mayor declared.

That's equal to about 50 dumpsters a day— still being removed as a result of the storm!

"A lot of debris on land, now we're removing a lot of debris from Hurricane Harvey that's out in the water," the mayor added.

After Harvey dumped a record-breaking 51 inches of rainfall over the area last summer. Officials say trees, trash, logs, and other vegetation have created all kinds of lost capacity in the lake.

Barges bulging with debris were spotted all along the clean up route.

"When you're out there and you see all of those logs and furniture, you know, that's coming, that's being taken from Lake Houston, it highlights the importance of this effort," Turner said.

"As the mayor says, to do the proper maintenance so that when we receive water from the next hurricane-- as we know we're gonna have-- we'll be prepared for it," Houston District E City Council Member Dave Martin suggested.

"We had over 17,000 homes alone in this area that were flooded," Texas District 127 State Rep. Dan Huberty pointed out. "Forty-five hundred businesses were impacted. We can never have that again."

Meanwhile, the feds have finally freed up nearly $5 billion in funds to finish up flood mitigation projects for the Houston area.

Congressman John Culberson's office announced the increased funds which include a study for a possible third reservoir to help prevent Buffalo Bayou flooding and to finish up six bayou upgrades.

"Let me just say, I believe the future is bright," Mayor Turner announced. "The future is bright as long as we do our jobs."

Maybe with some fresh Federal funding, local leaders will finally be able to take some dramatic steps forward to solving the frequent flooding problems we've come to know all too well here in the Bayou City!