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City receives FEMA boost for Packery Channel restoration

FEMA will provide $13.5M to help in restoration
Packery Channel jetty waves
Posted at 6:39 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 12:43:15-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 17, 4 a.m. - Corpus Christi will receive millions from FEMA to help repair the Packery Channel.

Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $14 million in damages to the channel.

When the city first applied for FEMA funds to address the damage, city officials said FEMA denied the claim saying it was the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers.

Ultimately it was decided that it wasn't the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers.

At that point, FEMA determined that the project then was eligible for funding.

FEMA has awarded the city $13.5 million for the work.

The agreement requires the city to match 10 percent of the funding. The total project cost is estimated at $15 million.

"Anybody from FEMA, I want them to know, once they found out who had responsibility, the emails were flying," District 4 Councilman Greg Smith said. "It got done."

City Manager Peter Zanoni said settling the project is indicative of the city's interest in finishing the project.

"We're a city that's moving forward," Zanoni said. "That's starting here on the island, that goes throughout our region."

City officials have already accepted a bid for the Packery Channel Restoration Project.

There's no word when the work will begin.

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Thursday, Corpus Christi city council members will hold a news conference to announce $13.5 million in funding by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage to the channel’s infrastructure and walkways.

After opening in 2006, the Packery Channel has provided significant recreational and environmental benefits by allowing easy access to the Gulf of Mexico for boating and constant tidal exchange, improving fishing in the Upper Laguna Madre.