DHS Outlines Plans to Add 28 Miles to Border Wall in RGV

Posted: Updated: Apr 06, 2017 11:17 PM

HIDALGO - The government said 28 miles of levee wall will be added in the Rio Grande Valley.

The decision comes after Hidalgo County officials requested a border wall double as flood control.

The city of Hidalgo has tall levee walls, sometimes 20-feet tall, which keep out people and flooding waters. They were built in seven discontinuous sections by 2008.

The barrier connects with the remaining earthen levees for flood control and covers all 50 miles of southern Hidalgo County.

The county said the levee walls are penetrable because they’re incomplete. A portion of the existing levee walls end at the east end of the city of Hidalgo.

Hidalgo resident Beto Arevalo lives down 15th Street. He said he’s used to seeing people crossing the river and U.S. Border Patrol agents responding.  

Under the government’s plan, the land to the south of his neighborhood may see the extension to the levee wall.

In his written testimony Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the Rio Grande Valley will get an additional 28 miles of levee wall.

However, it’s unknown how that additional levee wall will be funded.

Hidalgo County supported adding more walls this past February. They want to see existing earthen levees replaced by concrete security levees.

Hidalgo County Drainage District 1 manager Raul Sesin said although he’s pleased with the decision, the government has yet to contact the county. 

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