01/24/19 12:30pm

NEWLY-PROPOSED STATEWIDE FLOODING FUND WOULD BE SPRINKLED WITH $1.2B FROM TEXAS’S RAINY DAY RESERVES State Senator Charles Perry filed a trio of bills on Tuesday that aim to create a state-level plan for flood mitigation, to be funded by $1.2 billion drawn from Texas’s $11 billion rainy day fund, reports the Texas Tribune’s Carlos Anchondo. If the House and Senate agree to tap the state’s nest egg by a two-thirds vote — a level of consensus that’s proven difficult to reach in the past, notes Anchondo — the legislation would then divide Texas into regional flood planning groups that trace the outlines not of municipalities, but rather of the state’s watersheds in order to “ensure one community’s plans do not inadvertently negatively impact a neighboring community,says Perry. (The Texas Water Development Board would oversee the mapping and could choose to deviate from watershed boundaries in exceptional cases.) Within every watershed group, a representative from each county would receive a single vote, which they’d use to hash out a regional flood plan including both physical projects (such as reservoir improvements) and strategies (such as strengthening building codes). Taking a look at each region’s plan, the state would then compile a ranked list of flood mitigation approaches across Texas and kick in portions of the $1.2 billion for them accordingly starting sometime in 2024 . . . at the earliest. [Texas Tribune; press release] Photo of the Texas Senate chamber: Arthur LeBon [license]

01/16/19 8:30am

Photo of Fred Hartman Bridge: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/14/19 1:15pm

NEW TEXAS SENATE BILL: IF HOME LIES IN ANY FLOOD ZONE, SELLER MUST SAY SO State Senator Joan Huffman filed a bill last Friday that, if passed, would require sellers to tell buyers if their homes are located in a 100- or 500-year floodplain, a reservoir, or a flood pool — the area next to a reservoir that’s expected to fill up with water during major flooding events (but that most were unaware of until reporters blew the lid on their existence in late 2017). The bill, S.B. 339, would also force owners to disclose whether the home they’re listing has flooded before, whether it might flood under “catastrophic circumstances,” and if it’s located less than 5 miles downstream from a reservoir. “If a seller doesn’t disclose the information,” reports the Texas Tribune’s Kiah Collier, “the law would allow buyers to terminate the contract — or sue.” [Texas Tribune] Photo of flooding at Creech Elementary School, Katy, near Barker Reservoir: Breta Gatlin

01/11/19 8:30am

Photo of the vault at Hotel ICON: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

12/07/18 8:30am

Photo of Byrne St., Woodland Heights: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/27/18 8:30am

Photo of 609 Main St.: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/20/18 8:30am

Photo of Rice University at The Medical Center: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/15/18 8:30am

Photo of Market Square Park: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/10/18 8:30am

Photo of mural by Ana Marietta on the Dramatika Custom Framing building at 331 W. 19th St., painted as part of the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse program: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/08/18 8:30am

Photo of 1002 Woodland St., Woodland Heights: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

09/21/18 8:30am

Photo: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

08/29/18 8:30am

Photo of The Mondrian: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

08/27/18 8:30am

Photo of Braes Heights: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

08/15/18 8:30am

Photo of Carruth Pedestrian Bridge: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

08/07/18 9:45am

WHAT’S ON THE TABLE IN HARRIS COUNTY’S FLOOD BOND MEGA VOTE, STARTING TOMORROW Included in the flood control bond package county residents are about to start voting on: $1.2 billion for channel improvements, $401 million for detention basins, $242 million for floodplain land purchases, $184 million (coupled with $500 million in outside funding) for 3,600 home buyouts, $12.5 million for new floodplain mapping, and $1.25 million for a better flood warning system — according to totals the Chronicle’s Zach Despart summed up from the master list of 237 individual projects. Not included: money for a third reservoir, although $750,000 is on the table to help the Army Corps study the possibility of one. Taken together, the $2.5 billion proposal‘s price tag is more than 20 times the Harris County Flood Control District’s annual budget of $120 million. Voting wraps up on Saturday, August 25, the anniversary of Harvey’s arrival in Houston. [Houston Chronicle ($); full list (PDF); previously on Swamplot] Photo of flooding at Creech Elementary School, 4242 S. Mason Rd., Katy:: Breta Gatlin