Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Houston, you ain't the only one with a problem...

You could pretty much substitute Dallas, Fort Worth or any other major Texas city and have the same story.   Remember that old line we've used at least a thousand times, Nothing was ever done, it just got worse.

Some of you might want to start paying attention. You really can't afford not to.

Kudos to Kriston Capps for pointing out the obvious.  If our elected officials know it's an issue and do nothing, WHO is holding them accountable?

In Texas, Toll Roads or Flood Preparedness?

Almost a year ago to the date, CityLab reported on the worst flooding to hit Central Texas in 30 years (whomping Austin and San Antonio, but also reaching Houston). A year later, the Brazos River is now surging to its highest water mark in more than a century, promising even more flooding in Houston, just weeks after the last severe storms and deadly floods saturated the area.

Texas needs to start taking flood management at least as seriously as it takes highway construction (and it needs to stop spending so much on sprawl-enabling highways). It is too late to unroll the Grand Parkway and other initiatives that have taken precedence over flood management in the Lone Star State. But it isn’t too late for Texas to take storms seriously. They will keep coming.

Develop a statewide flood infrastructure plan, already!

Texas got dinged by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013. The group gave the state a “D” for flood control as part of its infrastructure report cards (a program the ASCE should resume). Texas lacks a statewide floodplain management plan, and does not participate (as a state) in the National Flood Insurance Program, despite the fact that Texas typically leads the nation in terms of dollars paid out for flood claims.

The state’s failure to take precautions is costly in both blood and treasure.Eight people were found dead in Houston after April’s historic floods, which caused more than $5 billion in damage and flooded more than 1,000 homes. Frankly, the U.S. deserves a national strategic framework for destructive floods. But at a bare minimum, Texas needs to get in the game.   

“By allowing so many wetlands to be turned into subdivisions, we're not just kicking them to the curb; we're turning them into curbs,” writes Jennifer Lorenz, the former executive director of the Bayou Land Conservancy.

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