The broad scope of Hurricane Harvey’s damages in Texas led the state to seek the U.S. government’s help, which involves “future proofing” infrastructure in case another storm hits the region.
The state now wants $61 billion in federal funding to upgrade its infrastructure network. The amount would be in addition to more than $50 billion of financial aid for housing repairs.
Commercial roofing companies in Houston will benefit if Congress approves the separate funding package for infrastructure improvements. These upgrades are necessary to ensure that important facilities such as hospitals will be able to weather the next storm.
The East Houston Regional Medical Center in the fourth largest U.S. city, unfortunately, shut down, even after it was rebuilt post-Harvey. The hospital’s officials believe that it would be unsafe to continue with operations. While Congress could not just ignore the state’s request, an approval remains uncertain because other states such as Florida have grappled with problems after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, said that Harvey caused an estimated $180 billion in total damages. For this reason, the state plans to use around 60% of the $61 billion federal aid for anti-flooding projects, including new reservoirs, dikes and other barriers.
One-third of the funds would allow the state to acquire homes in flood-prone areas, while the remainder will be used for risk reduction, road and water service projects. Texas-based the $61 billion amount of funding requests from local officials and previous U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects.
Whether or not Congress approves Texas’ request for a new round of funding aid, infrastructure improvements would still be necessary to ensure that the next storm will claim fewer to no lives at all. At the same time, upgrades would help the state to be prevent damages to commercial and residential properties.