By MICHAEL KLEIN and STEVE HARRISAssociated PressAPAUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas is considering building a floating platform on a creek near the Rio Grande to control flooding caused by the massive, long-term drought.
A group of environmental advocates and local officials is pushing for the installation of a floating dam on the creek, located in the town of Guadalupe in the Texas Panhandle.
It’s a controversial idea because of environmental concerns.
The creek is known for its toxic fumes and it’s an area where there’s a history of human and natural resource conflicts.
A recent study by the Austin Water Science Center estimated that the creek could flood up to 4,000 homes if the dam is built.
A report from the Austin Public Policy Foundation and other environmental groups says that if the water was kept at about 80 percent of its capacity, it would create more than 20 square miles of flooding damage, potentially displacing tens of thousands of people and destroying tens of billions of dollars in property.
The environmental group is asking for an environmental impact report to help determine whether it should build the dam.
The group’s report does not offer an estimate of what damage it could cause, but says that the effects would be severe.
The Texas Department of Transportation is working on a plan to make the platform, which is being built in the Austin area, more accessible to drivers.
It would also make it possible to access the creek to make repairs.
It has already been approved for use by the city of Austin.
The city is looking at the feasibility of installing a bridge over the creek and to construct an elevated structure at the mouth of the creek.
The project is expected to be completed in 2021.© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.
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