Councilmember Dave Martin would like to make District E residents aware that he has achieved support for additional dredging on the Lake Houston mouth-bar in the form of a signed letter from Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Congressman Kevin Brady, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn to the acting director of FEMA. This is a rare accomplishment for the City of Houston to have all interested parties of a project at the local and state level signed on in agreement, working together to make sure those at the highest level know that this project is not just necessary but required for the community.
Martin has worked hard over the last year and several months, taking multiple trips to Austin and Washington, D.C. in order to solidify support at the state and federal level. Martin is happy to fight for the residents of District E and is glad to have this signed letter as proof of the hard work supporting the additional dredging. Martin has worked tirelessly to gain the support for this project from Mayor Sylvester Turner, Gov. Greg Abbott, Crenshaw, Brady, Cruz and Cornyn.
As many in the Kingwood community are aware, the first mission assignment modification to address partial removal of the mouth-bar concluded earlier this year. The mission assignment modification provided the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) authorization, acting at the direction of FEMA, to remove an additional 497,400 cubic yards of debris from the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston, known locally as the "mouth-bar".
Martin has never accepted the amount of debris included in the mission modification and continues to fight that number today. He made the community aware of his plea to federal officials in early September.
Overall, the dredging efforts in the San Jacinto River have removed roughly 2 million cubic yards of debris from the river alone, which has been tremendous to return the flow and depth in the river. The 500,000 cubic yards removed from the mouth-bar, while helpful, does not achieve the goal of Martin to further reduce the effects of potential future flooding while protecting lives and property of those living in Kingwood and the Lake Houston area. Martin wants to achieve complete removal of the mouth-bar and will not stop fighting until that is achieved.
An update was provided to the community by Chief Recover Officer Costello at the Kingwood Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 17 in his presentation that covered recovery and flood mitigation strategies. Thanks to this congressional letter of support delivered to FEMA Oct. 24, the City of Houston is in the final steps for solidifying an additional mission modification.