HOUSTON -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey will be able to apply for over $1 billion in federal funds that can be used on projects to help prevent or lessen damage from future storms.

Abbott said Tuesday that the funding can be used by cities and counties to pay for a variety of projects, including buyouts and elevations of homes, seawalls and large scale channeling of waterways.

He said $500 million of the funding is available and ready to be disbursed once communities submit and get approval for their applications. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 25 and dumped more than 60 inches of rain in some areas in Southeast Texas after weakening to a tropical storm.