Drainage Project to Stop Flooding in the Works

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RAYMONDVILLE--A new 63 mile long drainage project that's expected to help prevent flooding in the Valley broke ground Friday.
     "I really, truly believe this might be the most important flood control project in the state of Texas today. It certainly is down here in the valley," said Bech Bruun, the chairman of the Texas water development board .
     Bruun said the legislature sent money to the board to develop the first ever statewide flood plan.
     He said their plans include "to show us the projects that we'll need to develop across the state to make sure we'll be better prepared for future flood events."
     Once completed, the pipe will go from Edinburg lake on Seminary road, all the way to the Laguna Madre. 
     Someone who is looking forward to the completion of this project is Dominga Ledesma.She owns a business in downtown Raymondville. 
     "A lot of times, if it rains, we have to shut it down for the day," said Ledesma.
     Even though the sidewalk in front of her store is nearly a foot high, that doesn't stop the water from getting into her store.
     "So we can't have anything on the floor or anything like that. We have to make sure all the wiring is up when it rains," said Ledesma.
     She said she uses sandbags and trash bags to prevent the water from seeping into her store.
     Ledesma said she looks forward to the day when she won't have to close her store down because of Mother Nature. 
     "It will be really nice if we can stay open and always be here, because it really kills our business when we close down and we're not available when our customers want us here," said Ledesma.
     The project will cost nearly $400 million. 75% of that cost will be refunded by the federal government. The Texas water development board is also pitching in $4.5 million.

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