ORANGE, Texas — Hurricane season is a little over a month away and the preparations are already underway.
Orange County will soon have a new levee system.
The Army Corps of Engineers is teaming up with Orange County to bring The Orange Project. The project is a portion of the $4 billion Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Program.
RELATED: Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay program begins levee construction to prevent flooding in Port Arthur, Orange
“Local leadership and county leadership came together after Hurricane Ike and said never again,” said Col. Tim Vail with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
A new levee system would surround most of the county with a floodwall.
Other areas would receive pumping stations and levees. It's part of the larger proposed "Ike Dike."
“For us to have an opportunity to have funding to create a project to build a project that will protect our community and protect our citizens and our people,” said Orange County Judge John Gothia.
Gothia said this project is needed due to rising sea levels and the increase in large and intense hurricanes.
Next door, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick is focusing on the need for preparation.
“Jefferson County, unfortunately, has had more disaster declarations in any other area of the state and our surrounding county,” Branick said.
Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, and Jasper counties will host a Southeast Texas Disaster Expo at the Ford Park exhibit hall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Branick said Emergency Management, Entergy, and insurance booths will be set up.
“Whether it's pandemics explosions, hurricane storm surge floods. We might even be armed with the appropriate knowledge and be able to respond," Branick said.
In Orange County, floodwall and levee construction could begin in 2024 and work would take several years.
“We are setting the stage for the rest of what's going to happen for coastal Texas right here, in our success here,” Branick said.
The team will be hosting three public open houses in Orange County in an effort to answer more questions from the public.
The project is expected to be completed by 2027.