Editor’s note: Watch our video of the bond meeting on our YouTube channel (click here).
CYPRESS — As we near the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s attack on our area, Harris County government representatives are trying to actually fix the county’s flooding problems instead of just talking about them.
With the election date set off of the usual November elections, the county needed approval from Gov. Greg Abbott, which he gave months ago. The $2.5 billion bond will go to the election booths on Aug. 25, which is the one-year anniversary of Harvey’s deluge upon Cypress and Harris County.
However, you don’t have to wait to vote on election night, which is two days before CyFair ISD students return to school. Registered voters can vote as early as Aug. 8.
In preparation for the election, the Harris County Flood Control District scheduled multiple open house meetings. Each meeting had stations set up with giant maps showing the various watersheds and were manned by district engineers and staff.
The July 31 meeting at the Weekley Community Center had approximately 50 citizens in attendance. A staff member mentioned that the previous meeting for the Buffalo Bayou area was swamped with 700 citizens in attendance.
Matt Zeve, the district’s director of operations, opened the July 31 meeting held at the Weekley Community Center, before introducing the county government’s head representative as the main speaker.
“We all got through (Hurricane) Harvey together,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said. “We all don’t want to go through another (Hurricane) Harvey. So we’re going to have to get to work. That’s what this whole bond program is about.”
Two and a half billion dollars isn’t chump change, and property owners across the entire county are looking at footing the bill.
“You need to be comfortable with what we’re doing,” the county judge added. “There are all these questions about: What’s in my area? What will affect me directly? You need to know that. But you also need to know that 93% of the homes in Harris County didn’t flood. So if all the people who didn’t flood said: ‘this doesn’t impact me,’ then we’re never going to get anywhere. We’re all in this together.”
Potential projects supported by bond funding include: Channel modifications to improve stormwater conveyance, regional stormwater detention basins, major repairs to flood-damaged drainage infrastructure, removing large amounts of sediment and silt from drainage channels, voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties, wetland mitigation banks, property acquisition for preserving the natural floodplains, drainage improvements made in partnership with other cities, utility districts, or other local government agencies, and upgrading the Harris County Flood Warning System.
You can see potential projects and figure out which watershed you live in, here (http://www.harriscountyfemt.org/cb).
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