First of 23 meetings to discuss $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond

- Harvey claimed 35 lives in Harris County and caused up to $125 billion in damage.

Now the county is asking Harris County residents to approve a $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond.

"If we're going to have a bond election for $2.5 billion the public has got to buy into it," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "They've got to be in it with us."

The county judge says he wants input from residents on how to spend the money.

Tuesday night he held the first of 23 community meetings to be held prior to the August 25 bond referendum.

"I tell people all the time we got through Harvey together, we're going to do this bond together," said Emmett.

These meetings will be held at 23 watersheds.

"We want this to be as open and transparent as anything that's ever been done," Emmett said.

$700 million to $900 million of the bond would be used to match federal funds.

That would mean $4.5 billion to $5 billion for flood projects when it's all said and done.

Money would be used to expedite projects already in progress like Brays, White Oak and Clear Creek.

The county also wants to hear from residents.

"I think this is the most important issue that's faced us in my lifetime," Emmett said. "It will save lives there's no question."

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