Two months after Hurricane Harvey unleashed widespread devastation throughout southeast Texas, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has proposed a series of responses designed to protect the lives and property of Texans from the next flooding disaster.
Emmett’s proposals include the creation of a regional flood control organization to better coordinate multi-county responses to flooding and storm disasters, construction of a protective third reservoir and implementation of a state-of- the-art flood warning system.
“Now is not the time for a piecemeal approach,” Emmett said. “The sense of urgency created by Harvey will fade, so we must quickly commit ourselves to a comprehensive plan to redefine Harris County and the surrounding region as a global model for living and working in a flood-
Emmett encouraged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately fund the four Harris County Flood Control projects that now sit ready for completion – Brays Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Hunting Bayou and Clear Creek. He also called on the Corps to restore the dams and detention areas of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs to “first-class” condition.
“I do not pretend to have all the right answers, nor do I see myself as an expert in flood control,” Emmett said. “My purpose today is to present a broad vision of what is needed and to challenge those involved in seeking solutions to think boldly.”
Emmett’s other proposals include speeding up home-buyout programs, improving the disclosure of flood risks to potential homebuyers and renters, and the conversion of Lake Houston and Lake Conroe to flood-control facilities in addition to their roles as water supplies.