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The National Hurricane Center has concluded that Hurricane Harvey, which flooded the Texas Gulf Coast last August, was the worst rain storm ever to have occurred, shattering records and causing between $100 billion and $200 billion in damages.

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The people of Houston, in particular, do not need much convincing of that assessment, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

It will therefore come as welcome news to not only the flood-ravaged Gulf Coast but for people in the construction trades that federal dollars are going to start flowing for infrastructure improvements that will help alleviate any more flooding events in the future. Harvey may have been a once-in-a-thousand-years event, but people want to make sure that the torrents that washed away homes and businesses never happen again.

Governor Greg Abbott made the announcement that the federal money will be included in a Harvey relief package that has passed the House and will shortly pass the Senate, or so he has been assured will happen by Sen. John Cornyn and Sen Ted Cruz. The package will include:

-Repairs and upgrades to the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, which proved woefully inadequate to contain the flood waters.
-Funding for the construction of a third reservoir.
-Water projects in both Fort Bend and northeast Harris counties.
-The augmentation of bayous throughout the region to safety carry rainwater to the Gulf of Mexico. Even during ordinary heavy rains, these waterways have had a tendency to overflow their banks, flooding streets and washing out homes and businesses.
-A $7 million microloan program to help small businesses recover from the flooding.

Because the federal government is picking up the tab, Abbott is resisting calls to summon the Texas Legislature into special session to draw on the $10 billion rainy day fund. However, at some point, $1 billion of the fund will likely be used to cover the costs of repairing schools that were knocked out because of the flooding.

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