Natural Disaster Preparation
planning for the inevitable
We've always known the challenges that come with living on the Gulf Coast. But after Hurricane Harvey, it's clear that we need to do something different. Many parts of our community, especially in Friendswood, League City and in Sagemont near the Beltway are still recovering, and we're about to head into hurricane season again.
Storms don't pick red homes or blue homes - they hit everyone. And a government that doesn't respond to this obvious issue, is one that isn't treating us with the dignity and respect we deserve.
So what does that mean?
When Hurricane Ike came through, we saw how powerful storm surges can affect our community. If a storm were ever to hit the Houston Ship channel or any of our other industrial areas, the consequences would be disastrous. We must invest in strategies and responses, like what the Ike Dike envisions, to mitigate the damage caused by this new crop of intense storms. And we must take into consideration the environmental impact to the Galveston Bay while doing so.
We must also continue to invest and work with the Harris County Flood Control District to widen Clear Creek to mitigate future flooding in Friendswood and League City. And we can do so without raising property taxes. The State has funds available in the rainy day fund and the Congress has appropriated matching funds to the Army Corp of Engineers. So why go into debt?
The Exploration Green Conservancy and the Clear Lake City Water Authority have done a fantastic job in reimagining the old Clear Lake Golf Course as a green space capable of helping us manage flooding as well as enjoy the outdoors. We must do more to help the Conservancy and others come up with new win-wins for our community.
Part of the State's Local Government Code exempts Harris County from penalties if the county does not raise enough revenue from developers to build flooding prevention projects, like a detention pond. Harris County must have the authority to charge the appropriate fee and must be held accountable if they do not build these projects.
A new homeowner deserves to know if a house was previously affected by a natural disaster. Those selling the home must disclose whether or not the property is in either the 100- or 500-year floodplain, whether or not the property is in a hurricane evacuation zone, and whether or not such property is in the flood pool of a reservoir such as Addicks or Barker.