Report: Solving Houston flooding woes will require wholesale strategy overhaul

Source(s)
The Texas Tribune

Limiting development and telling buyers about a home's true flood risk are among the recommendations by the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium.

By Kiah Collier

A new report by a group of leading Texas researchers details a variety of shortcomings with the Houston area’s current — and proposed — approach to flood control and calls on civil leaders to pursue a multifaceted and regional strategy that ensures that all communities receive better protection regardless of socioeconomic status.

The report by the so-called Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium — a group of scientists from universities and other institutions across the state formed just after Hurricane Harvey battered the region last August — says current regulations aimed at lessening the impacts of flooding are patchwork and often subpar, doing little to effectively corral floodwater.

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It repeatedly stresses the effectiveness of limiting development in certain areas so grasslands can absorb flood water and ease stress on neighborhood drainage systems and the region’s vast bayou network — a recommendation sure to be met with stiff resistance in a famously pro-development region. The report also says there is a need to better inform the public through measures like a countywide flood alert system and homebuyer disclosures detailing flood risks.

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