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Port Arthur city council advances flood projects: Funds envisioned for El Vista, Port Acres & Lake Arthur

The Port Arthur City Council on Tuesday OK’d acceptance of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program money for engineering and design work on the three projects that will help problematic drainage areas: El Vista subdivision, Port Acres drainage and detention at Lake Arthur.

Interim City Manager Rebecca Underhill said the city will receive $1,651,002 in federal funds and will use Community Development Block Grant funding to satisfy the city’s required 25 percent match.

That money — the city will pay nothing — should enable Port Arthur’s Public Works Department to complete Phase I of a two-phase project. If they get the engineering and design work done well and on time, they will receive additional money, some $24 million, to complete the projects.

“FEMA comes up with the balance,” Underhill said. “The projects must be done within three years. Now the clock is ticking.”

Public Works Director Alberto Elefaño told councilmembers the projects would launch simultaneously, if approved for funding.

The first two projects call for work on culverts on 11 streets in El Vista and 12 streets in Port Acres, Elefaño said this week. Funding for Lake Arthur will enable the city to expand that site as a detention pond, a dry pond that will collect excess floodwater and hold it until the city can safely release it.

Drainage improvements in El Vista will include these streets, he said: Maple, Pine, Willow, Cherry, Barbara, Danny, Golden, Daisy, 60th and Roosevelt.

Drainage improvements in Port Acres will include these streets: 67th, Garnett, 66th, 65th, Anne, Susie, 64th, 63rd and Jade.

The Lake Arthur project would include using a detention pond, a dry pond, to hold floodwater until it could be released.

Elefaño said application was made for the grant money last autumn.