Summary of “Houston is Still Wrestling With How to Prepare for the Next Big Storm”

As a Houston Chronicle editorial noted at the time, “We must not forget this tragedy as we did the one in 1929. Houston has been visited by four serious floods in the last 40 years, each worse than the preceding one. The Chronicle has pointed out repeatedly since 1929 that the … development of widespread Houston residential sections, with storm sewers turning floods of water into the bayou after every rain, has steadily increased the hazard.”
As famed architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable wrote in the New York Times during the boom years of the seventies, “Houston is all process and no plan. Gertrude Stein said of Oakland that there was no t.here, there. One might say of Houston that one never gets there. It feels as if one is always on the way, always arriving, always looking for the place where everything comes together.”
In the past year, innumerable let’s-do-this studies have been published, with titles like “Build It Forward,” “Houston at the Crossroads: Resilience and Sustainability in the 21st Century,” and the surely compelling “Greater Houston Strategies for Flood Mitigation.” Most consist of similar concepts, ranging from the mundane to the spectacular: buying out homes in irretrievably flood-prone neighborhoods, building higher foundations in areas that can be protected from all but the worst flooding, improving drainage, widening bay.
Thanks to a spate of post-Harvey articles published everywhere from the Houston Chronicle to the Atlantic, many around Houston know that a) the Netherlands floods a lot, and b) because of that, the Dutch have become the world’s leading experts in combating flooding.
Storm surge is by far the biggest flooding concern in the Netherlands, while Houston must also account for the overbuilding problem.
You may recall Governor Greg Abbott’s snide remark in June 2017 that it was “Great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin.” This prompted a retort from Houston mayor Sylvester Turner in the Houston Chronicle.
Remarkably, no one knows how much federal funding Texas will actually get and, in turn, how much will go to Houston and Harris County.
McCasland, wearing a navy City of Houston polo, moved through a PowerPoint presentation highlighting changes he hoped to make in housing policies so that “Next time it rains here, people don’t die in Houston.”

The orginal article.