Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announces that Jefferson County Waterway & Navigation District was awarded $4,444,162 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair flood gates and drains damaged by Hurricane Rita.

This funding is as follows:

$4,444,162.00 (Federal share) - Jefferson County Waterway & Navigation - The 512-square-mile watershed, which is the combination of Taylors Bayou, Hillebrandt Bayou, and Big Hill Bayou in Southeast Texas, drains from upland areas in and surrounding Beaumont, TX, Nome, TX, and Winnie, TX, in a southeasterly direction and enters the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Highway 87. All of this runoff is directed through a set of flood gates and navigation locks, which perform the dual function of preventing salt water intrusion from the Intracoastal into the fresh water system, as well as conveying flood flows. The structure consists of two sets of modern tainter-gate-type structures--one set of 7 and one set of 4--and a set of out-dated wooden steel and flap-type structures, which is currently non-functional and has been isolated from the flood flow due to major erosion and gate inoperability problems. The problems with these wooden flap gates has been accelerated in the last 7 years since we had floods in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, and again during Rita in 2005. These flap gates are an extremely important overall part of the drainage for the entire area and represent 27% of the total flow capacity of the entire system. The plan is to construct a 4-gate structure that will have the required capacity, and will also have the modern functionality needed in this situation. There will be some modifications to the design, which will allow better operation of the gates, especially during disaster situations and power failures. This project will protect over 200 homes, over 80 of which are currently insured.

FEMA obligates funding for these projects directly to the State. It is the States responsibility to ensure that eligible sub-grantees receive these awards. Following the States review process and upon receipt of appropriate documentation, they will provide funds to the sub-grantees on a reimbursable basis.