(July 22, 3:04 p.m.) High winds aren’t the only fallout expected from Tropical Storm Dolly’s path to the Rio Grande Valley.

The possibility of flooding is bringing to a head complications involved with the Department of Homeland Security’s border fence, now under construction.

The storm, expected to make landfall late Tuesday, July 22, or early Wednesday morning, possibly as a category 1 hurricane, could bring 10-20 inches of rain and 40 mph winds to Texas citrus orchards nearing their harvest.

For citrus, the flooding isn’t a major concern, said Ray Prewett, president of Mission-based Texas Citrus Mutual.

“Our concern would be the wind blowing some fruit off,” he said. “What’s not blown off could get punctured in some of the types of citrus that have more thorns, like oranges. That could impact the grade.”

Prewett said it would take some sustained high winds — stronger than predicted to hit the region — to cause serious losses.

“I haven’t heard anything that would make me think that we should be concerned from a citrus standpoint,” he said.

The water, however, is another issue. Field production isn’t under way for most Texas grower-shippers, said John McClung, president of the Mission-based Texas Produce Association.

But a border fence is — and that has some of the area’s protective levies out of commission.

“It is unbelievably foolish for the government to be building in the middle of hurricane season,” McClung said. “The levies that we have must be breached in the construction process,s and here they are out building walls in the middle of a hurricane.”

DHS planned to build sections of the border fence along a section called the southern levy, which is as much as 2 miles north of the river in some areas.

Most of what is south of the levy is farmland.

“That land is owned by my members and other farmers,” he said. “That is one of the reasons we have taken a position of such extreme opposition.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency identified the levies along the Rio Grande that are inadequate to handle potential floods, and some saw the border fence project as a way to get necessary levy repairs done.

“Some had the idea that we’d get a two-for with federal dollars,” McClung said. “However, the only places where they are building are in areas where Border Patrol identified a need for a fence. It’s in bits and pieces all along the levy and is not continuous.”

Fortunately, McClung said, the storm is not expected to be severe enough to cause widespread flooding.

“This hurricane looks fairly puny as hurricanes go at this point, and we’re far enough inland that the anticipation is that we’ll get a fairly good rain and 30-40 mph winds,” he said.