Hurricane season is still a few months away, but it’s already on the mind of many Texans – including the Texas section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The group has asked Governor Greg Abbott to make flood control a priority for the upcoming legislative session. After the catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the state needs to take major steps to develop more effective flood control measures.
Flooding in Texas is a particularly difficult issue. The state has a booming population that continues to grow but also sits along the Gulf of Mexico, a location that puts it in the path of many Atlantic Ocean hurricanes. Despite these factors, the state really hasn’t done much in recent years to improve the infrastructure needed to better prepare for catastrophic natural disasters like flooding. According to the Report Card for Texas’ Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the state has consistently received a grade of “D” since 2012. The state received this grade due to a lack of central authority needed for flood preparation, floodplain management, and flood prevention.
This “D” grade was seen in action during Hurricane Harvey. Thousands of property owners discovered too late their homes and businesses were built inside of a floodplain. Hurricane Harvey dropped so much rain so quickly these floodplains filled up past the level of development, causing catastrophic property flooding. Unfortunately, the dam holding back water from these floodplains was fraught with problems and also in need of extensive repairs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to begin controlled releases at the dam to prevent complete failure. This meant homes and businesses both upstream and downstream of the dam were inundated with floodwaters.
A Long Recovery
To understand how necessary new flood control methods are, people can look to the long recovery still occurring after Hurricane Harvey. It’s been over a year and a half and many victims are still working to rebuild. Another storm could cause more devastation across the state if proper flood mitigation strategies are not implemented.
Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims
Raizner Law is helping Hurricane Harvey victims rebuild. If your home was flooded by the Addicks & Barker reservoirs or if your insurance company is denying your hurricane damage claim, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help.