The Biden administration has stopped construction on the border wall between the United States and Mexico. But portions that have already been built have damaged levees along the border in South Texas, and those levees are crucial to preventing catastrophic flooding. Now that hurricane season is only weeks away, the way the condition of the levees is worrying residents in Hidalgo County.
Dave Hendricks is a reporter for the Progress Times in the Rio Grande Valley. He told Texas Standard there’s a misconception that not much of the border wall was actually built during the Trump administration’s construction efforts.
“Certainly, here in the Valley, there was a significant amount of new wall built, and in Hidalgo County we have a levee system that’s north of the Rio Grande that prevents the river from overflowing during hurricanes or major storms, and flooding a large part of the county,” Hendricks said. “During prior administrations, the wall was kind of combined with the levee, which was convenient because the government already owned that land.”
Highlights from this segment:
– The Biden administration’s halt of border wall construction meant that when contractors stopped working on the wall, holes were left that would allow water to move through the levee system in the event of a flood. Landowners and officials have asked a judge to address their concerns.
– At a hearing this week, a government attorney was not able to provide specifics about how the federal government would remedy the problem. Another attorney said the government wanted guidance from the court, rather than an order, about how the government should proceed.