$11.4 million granted by Texas GLO for historic disaster mitigation projects in Tyler County

Funds to improve drainage infrastructure approved for the city of Ivanhoe

Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
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PRESS RELEASE — May 21, 2021

AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Texas Senator Robert Nichols and Mayor Cathy Bennett announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved more than $11.4 million in flood mitigation projects to improve drainage infrastructure in Tyler County’s city of Ivanhoe. These infrastructure projects will directly benefit residents in a majority low-to-moderate income (LMI) area that faced repetitive storm damage in 2015, 2016, and in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey. 

“Since 2015, 140 Texas counties have received a Presidential disaster declaration, giving Texas the dubious distinction of the nation’s leader in disaster areas,” said Commissioner Bush. “The need is extensive, and this first round of mitigation funding is geared directly at helping communities that are majority low-to moderate-income and lack the resources to fund their own mitigation projects. The GLO is proud to helping communities across Texas increase public safety, prevent property loss, and minimize hardship on residents by supporting projects that will lower the impacts of future disasters.”

“The city of Ivanhoe is surrounded by lakes that overflow during flooding events and inundate our community, damaging roads, overwhelming flood control infrastructure, and creating hazards for our residents and first responders,” said Mayor Cathy Bennett. “This $11.4 million from the GLO will enable us to take much needed steps to repair and improve dams, improve drainage systems, strengthen our ability to withstand disasters, and ultimately reduce the risk of loss of life, injury, and damage when the next storm hits.”

Texas Senator Robert Nichols offered his support from the Texas Capitol saying, "It's impossible to overstate how important these flood mitigation funds are to East and Southeast Texas. Senate District 3 saw severe flooding during the 2015 floods, the 2016 floods, and again during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. These flooding events showed just how vulnerable this area of the state is and how necessary mitigation efforts are. Senate District 3 won over $105 million in the competitive flood mitigation fund award process because the projects in our region are vital to protecting Texans from future flood events. I appreciate the professionalism of the GLO throughout this process and our local officials who worked so hard to make these projects a reality."

In May 2020, Commissioner George P. Bush announced the kick-off of the application process for the first round of more than $2.3 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to protect Texas communities hit by Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding in 2015 and 2016. During the first round, the GLO conducted three competitive application programs from the CDBG-MIT Action Plan. Those programs include:

Applications closed for the first round of funding October 28, 2020, and the GLO evaluated all 290 submitted applications in accordance with the HUD approved scoring criteria. Eligible applications with the highest scores were awarded funds. The second round of the competition will award the remaining $1,144,776,720 in mitigation funding to Hurricane Harvey eligible entities.

HUD defines mitigation as activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship, by lessening the impact of future disasters. HUD requires that at least 50% of total funds must be used for activities benefiting low- to moderate-income (LMI) persons.

The State of Texas CDBG Mitigation Action Plan: Building Stronger for a Resilient Future outlines the use of funds, programs, eligible applicants, and eligibility criteria as required by HUD. The plan was sent to HUD on February 3, 2020, after an extraordinary public outreach effort including a 50-day public comment period and eight regional public hearings, far-surpassing HUD requirements. HUD approved the plan March 31, 2020. For more information, please visit recovery.texas.gov/mitigation.

City of Ivanhoe: Stormwater Detention and Management Project - $11,472,116.80

LMI Percentage: 57.38%

The city of Ivanhoe is surrounded by several lakes that have been inundated by repetitive flooding from Hurricane Harvey and other storms. Overflowing flood waters from Lake Ivanhoe and Lake Tristan have caused structural damage to dams and roadways, creating hazards for residents and first responders. 

During Hurricane Harvey, inflows to Lake Ivanhoe exceeded the capacity of the outfall structures and spilled over the top of the dam, causing severe erosion on the face of the dam. Without a functional dam, storm water run-off flows unabated through the breached dam location causing Ivanhoe Drive to flood, trapping residents inside the city and obstructing ingress for emergency responders. The city of Ivanhoe has identified the conversion of Lake Ivanhoe to a stormwater detention facility to mitigate the frequent and repetitive flooding of Ivanhoe Drive, the only ingress/egress route for the city.

Flood waters are controlled and released by the outlet works at the Lake Tristan outfall located on the northeast side of the lake. Recent storm events have exceeded the capacity of Lake Tristan's outlet works, resulting in water overtopping this section of the dam and causing roadway flooding and erosion damages. Due to repeated overtopping, a portion of Lakewood Drive has experienced extended periods of saturation and suffered base failure. The flooding of Lakewood Drive presents a dangerous hazard to first responders and to the public travelling along Lakewood Drive during and after storm events.

The proposed activities noted below will increase resilience to disasters, reduce the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, and damage to and loss of property by lessening the impact of future disasters. The project will include:

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