After denying Houston and Harris Co. millions of dollars, the state reversed course saying it'd ask the government to allocate $750 million for flood mitigation projects.
- Local officials, now, reacting to the big about face from the state of Texas regarding flood mitigation money for Houston and Harris County. 13 Investigates' Ted Oberg broke this story, and he joins us live now with the new developments. Ted?
- Gina, we came to this Northeast Houston neighborhood of Cashmere Gardens, because this is one of the places the city wanted to spend big money, 69 million bucks to improve drainage here. And they need it. Those apartments just across this ditch, flooded during Harvey, up to their waist. People vividly remember, still, waiting out to a church, trying to be rescued. But under the new GLO plan that awards $750 million to the county, this neighborhood and every neighborhood in the city will get nothing. Today, Mayor Turner suggested that George P. Bush is in over his head and that the land commissioner is playing a game with the people of Houston.
Mr. Mayor, if this is a game, how is it the city of Houston is still losing?
- Well, the city of Houston is not yet to losing, because the game is not over, you know? And quite frankly, I think the people themselves in Houston and Harris County will have the final say. They are the ones who flooded.
- Gina, this is big, big money for big, big projects. The city and Harris County each were hoping for a billion dollars of these funds, and local leaders, including some from Congress, this afternoon, on the steps of City Hall said the fight is far from over. And they are demanding that HUD, the federal agency that has to approve this spending, hold off on any approval, until Houston's included.
- The big number zero is imprinted in my brain. I can't even imagine it.
- Out of $1 billion, we would get zero? That is the opposite of what Congress intended.
- I see this as a failed attempt on his part to try to pit the city and the county against each other. I have news for the commissioner. It ain't going to happen.
- We talked to GLO today. They did two things. One, they denied that this was any sort of change of heart or reversal, won't even get into that. It completely doesn't make sense. They also said the city of Houston should work with Harris County to try and get some of the millions that Harris County was given, still, maintaining the city will get nothing. Live in Cashmere Gardens in Northeast Houston, Ted Oberg, ABC 13, Eyewitness News.