Abbott Signs Off on Harris County’s Harvey Anniversary Flood Bond Vote

ABBOTT SIGNS OFF ON HARRIS COUNTY’S HARVEY ANNIVERSARY FLOOD BOND VOTE In a letter to the Commissioners Court yesterday, Gov. Abbott approved Harris County’s request to hold an August 25 bond election that would pay for a long, not-yet-finalized lineup of flood control projects. On the short list so far: “the buy-out of all of the county’s high-priority areas at highest-risk of flooding, approximately 5,500 properties,” Judge Emmett tells the Chronicle’s Mihir Zaveri — as well as the financing of “some portions a much-discussed third reservoir northwest of the city,” and “numerous bayou and creek widening projects.” Also included: a handful of detention basins and drainage improvements to waterways in both Houston and the MUDs of unincorporated Harris County, according to the flood control district. The district now has about 4 months to compile the list, during which time Harris County “plans to launch a public outreach campaign to seek input on what to include in the bond package, as well as drum up support for the measure.” [Houston Chronicle ($), previously on Swamplot] Photo of Sesquicentennial Park and Franklin St. during Harvey: Kelsie H. Dos Santos

21 Comment

  • Nope …. I don’t want the county to become heavily indebted and force additional taxes on the people. The concept of the county bailing out 5500 property owners, many who will make a huge profit, for their stupidity in buying low lying areas is beyond inane. Let the federal government do it as they have to “pony up” for constant repairs while they deny climate change as a reality and continue to fight against those working to abate those effects .

  • Will he become our new Governor? Please no

  • This is all certainly well needed, but i’ll still vote no. I don’t see anything mentioned here by the city as being a long term solution or a direct/immediate solution to mitigate flooding impacts on me and my family.
    If you tell me we’re going to raise taxes in order to build more affordable housing in high opportunity areas to remove people from risk-prone areas then I’m in. If you tell me we’re going to spend a whole bunch of money to reduce the risk of homeowners getting flooded, well, that’s a no.

  • I agree with WR. For the 1% of homes that make up the majority of flood claims, this basically becomes government sponsored charity. If an individual spent all of their money on lottery tickets and lost everything, I don’t think the county would issue a bond to bail them out. You can argue who knew what when acquiring the property, who is responsible for increased flooding and what have you, but until people aren’t allowed to buy flood insurance and aren’t bailed out, this will continue to happen. Same for health insurance. Until people start getting turned away, the behavior isn’t going to change. I’m not saying that’s the solution, just the reality.

  • And why does it need to be a special election? To waste even more money? We have elections each November; can this not wait?

  • Another waste of taxpayers’ money to set a separate election (with historically low voter turnout) in August instead of adding this to the already planned November elections with much more on the ballot.

  • I don’t agree with the tone of WR, I agree with his overall point.

  • Buying out 5500 properties is not a bailout. It is a way to acquire land to use for flood control projects. If you do not buy them out, many of the properties will be abandoned and go into foreclosure, leaving large neighborhoods to go the way of a post-apocalyptic zombie town. While there may be a few speculators who get a windfall, the vast majority of those getting bailed out have lost all their possessions and their home. Given how Houston has completely neglected building sufficient flood control infrastructure and properly regulating building in flood plains, it is pretty hard to blame Joe Homeowner for not knowing that they were in a low lying area when most of the fricking city is a low lying area. This proposal gets projects moving much faster than waiting around for Federal funds to match and it puts a lot more money out there than just sitting back and waiting for Federal money to cover everything. And given the high rate of clown behavior coming out of DC, I would much rather get a bond passed and have a lot more local control to finally get some meaningful flood control projects done.
    Or, I could have just said, “if Bettancourt is against it, I am for it” and made just about as good a point.

  • Friendly reminder to vote for a governor who is more “for the people” rather than following beliefs of a printed book. We deserve better.

  • HEB: What about someone that follows the beliefs of a founding document of a nation. So long as they do that, I don’t care about the rest.

  • @Cody
    Documents are incapable of having beliefs.
    For almost 200 years the Supreme Court has determined whether laws comply with the principles set forth in the Constitution and its amendments through its rulings.
    Abbott and his cronies have repeatedly shown their ignorance of (or contempt for) these rulings. You might want to reconsider before voting them back into office.

  • @Old School: The problem with your statement is there is no there, there yet. The actual bond package hasn’t been built yet and no one knows what the voters will be approving yet. So you cannot say that 5,500 properties will be bought out. For all we know, they will take the money, straighten and concrete Buffalo Bayou from the reservoirs to Turning Basin to increase the flow rate that will allow Addicks and Baker to drain faster. (Ok that would cost way to much)

  • BigTex: First off — I don’t even live in Texas anymore. Second, why are you assuming who I voted for? Because I said I wanted to follow the guiding principles of the constitution? I know in this political environment, anything not far left makes you alt right.
    Just slow down on your assumptions is all I’m asking :)

  • Make a reservoir or lake north of the city, just west of Humble, at the confluence of Spring Creek and Cypress Creek as well as the San Jacinto River just a bit to the east. This land is still undeveloped. These three major tributaries coming together in short order accentuates the flooding issues. If the water has nowhere to go it’s going to cause flooding. While a reservoir in west Harris County will hold that water back from surging downstream, it does absolutely nothing for the rainfall that falls on the hundreds of square miles of land in the Spring Creek, down stream Cypress Creek, and San Jacinto River watersheds. The main intent of the proposed 3rd dam is to keep the water from overflowing into Barker and Addicks. Creating a lake here could serve not only flood control issues, but also provide for another source of drinking water.

  • @Cody …. and anything left of ultra right makes you a “liberal”

  • Cody ASSUMES the majority of Swamplot readers voted for Dump, gets offended when Big Tex assumes HE voted for Dump LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • doing flood control projects will add to the values of all property owners. unless all the naysayers below are renters, they should vote for the bond as that would be in their own self-interest. of course, mark twain said common sense ain’t very common. the flooding problem will get worse with climate change, so even if you didn’t flood in harvey you may flood in the near future. we all need mitigation.

  • After Katrina the mayor of NOLA went to prison……ours will loose reelection because he has no plan to fix the problems. This has misappropriations and kickbacks written all over it. Who calls for a bond election without a actual plan? Its been almost a year and all they can mention is a third reservoir that they have been trying to sale for 50 yrs? Buyouts? Widening bayous? Both have been and are being done now, but Harvey proved those aren’t the answer either. Lets not forget the “flood czar” whose former company is responsible for flooding homes along the Brazos……with a levy. Yeah corruption is alive in well.

  • Same person who is saving the Astrodome. No matter what you think you are voting for, the spending will not be the same. Vote no!

  • I’m heartened to see that many fellow Swamploters are voicing a “No Bonds for Bailouts” theme. While my heart knows that the (projected) 5,500 homeowners may have lost everything, they should have known that their homes could have been flooded. Sensible buyers know that flood insurance is a cheap way to mitigate any remaining risk (flood plain or not).
    Not all of the blame can go to homeowners – some are duly placed on the developers as well on government who allow developers to build in a flood zone that buyers then buy then taxpayers have to bail out with bonds. A terrible vicious cycle. So, there’s a lot of blame to be shared for this mess.
    The first step in getting out of the hole is to “stop digging”: stop further development in flood plains. But, I’m still voting “no” on these bonds. (Yes, I’m a taxpaying homeowner.)

  • @HEB I’m not a big fan of Abbot, but at least he knows the difference between millions and billions