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Full funding for the repair of the damage caused by Hurricane Rita to Lake Livingston Dam was announced when Congressman Kevin Brady (R - The Woodlands) advised that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would fund 75% of the anticipated $9.6 million repair cost. Separately, the Houston City Council took action that would fund the balance of the required funding.
"Today's award will ensure the repairs to Lake Livingston Dam can be made as quickly as possible," said Brady. He also observed the important role the lake plays in regard to tourism and as an economic engine for Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker Counties, which border the lake.
Lake Livingston represents approximately 70% of Houston's raw water supply. Hurricane Rita stripped 11,000 ft of the large stones (riprap) that provide protection from wave erosion of the dam's upstream slope. In response to this damage, the Trinity River Authority of Texas lowered the lake elevation four ft to prevent any further erosion of the exposed earthen embankment. As a result, a significant portion of the water supply normally available from Lake Livingston is missing.
Danny Vance, TRA's general manager, said, "The Trinity River Authority is very pleased about today's announcement and is eager to begin the needed repairs. We appreciate FEMA's quick response," he added, "and the support lent to our request by Representative Brady and other members of the Texas delegation."
TRA had previously identified a low bidder for the repair work, Archer Western Contractors, Ltd. The work to repair the lake will take approximately six months to complete. How long it will take for the lake to refill will be determined by rainfall and run off in the 16,583 sq mi of Trinity River watershed upstream of Lake Livingston Dam.