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Houston seethes over being frozen out of federal flood funds


              Shirley Ronquillo, a Houston area community activist, points to an open drainage ditch that is blocked by debris and trash on May 27, 2021, in Houston. The ditch, which should remain unobstructed, is located near a subdivision in an unincorporated part of Harris County that has a long history of flooding. (AP Photo/Juan A. Lozano)
Shirley Ronquillo, a Houston area community activist, points to an open drainage ditch that is blocked by debris and trash on May 27, 2021, in Houston. The ditch, which should remain unobstructed, is located near a subdivision in an unincorporated part of Harris County that has a long history of flooding. (AP Photo/Juan A. Lozano)

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston residents and officials are seething over a Texas agency's decision to not award the city a single cent of the initial $1 billion in federal flood mitigation funding the state was promised following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Texas General Land Office's recent announcement of the winners and losers of the funds provided a rare issue that brought Houston Democrats and Republicans together in mutual outrage. Shirley Ronquillo, a community activist, says the lack of funding could endanger residents of her neighborhood of East Aldine, which experiences bad flooding after major storms. Following the criticism, Land Commissioner George P. Bush said he planned to ask the federal government to approve $750 million for Harris County, which includes Houston. 

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