Flooding & Infrastructure
Managing the threat of flooding will determine much of Houston’s future. Recovering from Harvey will take us years; we must start now and rebuild wisely. Focusing on the planning of infrastructure policies and projects will ensure our success.
As far back as 2009, the Army Corps of Engineers determined the Addicks and Barker reservoirs to be 2 of the 6 worst in the country; both these reservoirs have received the worst possible safety rating. Of the five flood control projects that the Army Corp of Engineers authorized, only one of them have been completed some 20+ years later.
An immediate solution is needed to fix the flooding problem. In Kingwood alone we had more than 3,000 homes impacted by the recent flooding, with these displaced individuals and families still waiting for federal funding. I would work to ensure that we get the federal funds into Houston immediately so that those whose lives have been upended by the devastating effects of Harvey, can finally start to rebuild.
Our Harvey recovery and flooding prevention plan would include:
Built in the 1940’s, the Addicks and Barker reservoirs are over 70 years old, and may not adequately withstand another Harvey-level storm. We need to reinforce and repair these structures immediately
Building a third reservoir along Cypress Creek in Northwest Harris County; identifying additional detention areas in Houston and surrounding areas
Through the creation of a congressional delegation, the role of federal involvement in Houston’s Harvey recovery would be expanded, allowing for collaboration with city and state officials to secure the necessary funding, and ensuring work begins where it is needed most
Working with city and state officials to facilitate the immediate completion of Project Brays
Updating and revising the floodplain maps to reflect what we know now
Devising and installing a system for coastal surge protection, such as the Ike Dike