EDINBURG – Hidalgo County was awarded $4.5 million from the Texas Water Development Board for the Raymondville Drain flood control project this morning in Austin.

The funding covers a portion of the project that will directly benefit residents in the Faysville area in Precinct 4 by providing an outfall for flood waters.

This is the second TWDB grant received for the Raymondville Project. In 2015, the TWDB allocated $5.6 million for the project. The latest funding is a direct result of joint efforts from Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios, and Hidalgo County Drainage District #1. Hinojosa was instrumental in authoring and securing a budget rider, to allocate unspent funds for water projects from the previous fiscal year to the Raymondville Drain Project, during this legislative session as well as in 2015.

Palacios and Drainage District #1 have committed to supply labor and equipment for the project to maximize grant funds.

“We continue to advocate for drainage infrastructure to assure the burden comes from the state and federal level and not from the taxpayers of Hidalgo County,” said Palacios.

In addition to the TWDB funding, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced this spring, that it would award $7 million for the Raymondville Drain from the Texas RESTORE Act.

“To date, we have secured $17.1 million in funding for the Raymondville Drain,” said Hinojosa. “The project is a huge undertaking that will provide storm water management to our entire region and will continue the economic growth of our communities.”

The 63 mile drainage project will stretch through Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron counties, impacting 1.3 million residents in the Rio Grande Valley.

“This project will serve as the major arterial to flood water,” said Palacios. “When completed, flood waters will be diverted directly into the Gulf of Mexico.”       

Flooding has been a major concern for residents of Hidalgo County for decades. Even areas that do not suffer rain events, can experience flooding due to the topography of the area. In some areas there is a 250-foot elevation difference from the northwest to the eastern portion of the county.

Destruction of roads, property damage and safety hazards are just some of the hardships residents suffer from flooding.

“The Raymondville Drain will alleviate a lot of the issues and will promote future residential and commercial development,” Palacios said.

The county expects to break ground for the Raymondville Drain project in October.