US Army Corps of Engineers, CBP advised to plan to repair breached levees in Hidalgo County
Hidalgo County officials are concerned border communities could get flooded out during the next big storm due to four breaches in the dirt levee along the Rio Grande.
That's because some portions of the levee were flattened out to make way for border wall construction. But when President Biden suspended all border barrier projects, the breaks in the levee remained flattened, making way for possible water to flow through in the event of heavy rain.
Officials said at a press conference Wednesday that they had reached out to the International Boundary and Water Commission and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help fix the levee.
But in an emailed statement to Channel 5 News, IBWC Spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski said it’s up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to review their emergency flood protection plan.
Read the full statement below:
“The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) is very concerned about the existing levee gaps in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The USIBWC understands the critical nature of the situation and has reiterated to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection the immediate importance of providing flood protection to the local community prior to hurricane season which begins June 1.
Pending the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s direction to being able to return to work, USIBWC has advised the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S Custom and Border Protection to review and update their emergency flood protection plan in addition to the planning of repairing the affected levees.
As a general practice, the USIBWC requires anyone doing work on USIBWC levees to have a plan in place to ensure levee integrity for any flooding that could occur during the hurricane season.”
In a statement to Channel 5 News, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency is not aware of any notifications from the International Boundary Water Commission.
Channel 5 News reached out to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but have not receive a response.