Houston Chronicle, Four Five Six Inches, Billion Dollar discussed on All Things Considered


The Houston Chronicle he's been covering the recent storm and also how the city has struggled to implement some of the lessons learned in the wake of hurricane Harvey in two thousand seventeen my course thanks so much for joining us thank you so first of all how's the city doing today I mean are there still rescues how things work I don't know that there are a lot of rescues right now but things are still flooded on the east side because the water flows east and south of the golf there are plenty of areas where people can't really get back into their homes because they're still standing water but most of the city the water is drained away and people are recovering their possessions and looking for pets wouldn't surprise me if plenty of people are already marking and getting their houses it's not just Harvey Imelda we've had pretty severe flooding and at least some areas of the region every year since twenty fifteen so people are getting pretty proficient in cleaning out what else you about that I mean have there been infrastructure improvements since Harvey as you're telling us is this the sort of cycle of of flooding in sort of severe flooding has been going on since twenty fifteen has something changed in that time here it since this is seems to become more frequent. no there have not been significant infrastructure improvements since that storm county voters passed a two and a half billion dollar bond a year ago that these projects take time and Moster stone and and the design phase they haven't started construction and the city of Houston doesn't have a comparable funding source and so the city and county are both mostly waiting on federal aid for disaster recovery and that's been extremely slow to arrive he he help me understand this a little bit better here is there a political consensus in the area about what needs to be done does that exist probably mostly yes to that I think people agree that we need to do a more projects dig more detention basins xcelerated widening and deepening of the buyers the streams and rivers that run through the area I think most people are generally on the same page about that it's just a question of money but you gotta remember that our infrastructure even at current standards is only designed to accommodate maybe one or two inches of rain per hour in the county got four five six inches of rain in one hour and some areas got thirty inches in little more than a day when our reason usually the city usually gets fifty inches of rain in a year. no infrastructure system is going to be able to handle that kind of storm without flooding maybe people want rate for this conversation yet our people marrying the bigger conversation about climate change with the local conversation about infrastructure are people ready to talk about that I think the answer is broadly something government officials are talking about it I think there was the the kids climate strike that happened all over the world and I think even people who would reject the role of climate change and strengthening storms can't deny the new data that we have here from the the federal government that shows that there is statistical agreement that our understanding of what a severe storm was for this region was incomplete and before I let you go I wanna end up where we started which is on an individual level do you have any sense of whether this storm feels like a particularly wearing on people or do they see is just a part of life living in the area. there's a broad Max I mean there are some people who flooded three years in a row within the last five years who were spared yesterday and there are people who flooded yesterday who flooded six months ago I think it's a broad range across the region of people who are fed up they've had enough they're angry and they won out there are other people who can possibly imagine leaving the city there's other people who are stuck I mean they're in many low income neighborhoods you can't possibly tell whether the black mold is from ML the Harvey hi Allison and so you know I think that if there's any positive to and a lot of people sort of turn to the sense of community that is fostered when these.

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