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Motiva, the largest refinery inthe United States, in the distance in Port Arthur, Texas Wednesday, September 20, 2017 where piles of flood damaged debris are piled outside of homes. (Photo by Michael Stravato)

New Texas plan for federal Hurricane Harvey aid yields same old result: Funds diverted away from Gulf Coast

Despite an admonition from federal authorities, Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s plan still steers aid disproportionately to whiter, inland counties at less risk of natural disasters.

An influx of aid

Austin, Texas USA Nov. 15, 2017: George P. Bush greets  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Texas regional office with Energy Secy. Rick Perry for a Hurricane Harvey recovery update from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Red Stewart salvages useful items from a flood pile at a trailer park on the north side of  Houston along Gulf Bank Road Wednesday, September 6, 2017 which has flood multiple times including Tropical Storm Harvey. (Photo by Michael Stravato)
Gov. Greg Abbott along  US Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas, HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude and Tx Land Comm. George P. Bush to discuss hurricane Harvey recovery efforts at the Texas Capitol on November 17, 2017

A second chance 

Peggy Bell stands outside her home in Robstown on May 3, 2022. Bell has lived in her home since building it in 1981. Her home flooded twice last year and she says trash and the overgrowth of brush downstream is to blame.

Waiting for the next storm

Nueces County resident Dan Zamora in his front porch at his home on May 3, 2022. For the first time since moving here 30 years ago, Zamora's home flooded twice last year. "The county judge listened and promised to get things done," Zamora said. Zamora cited an overgrowth of brush and trash blocking the flow of water downstream leading to flooding in his neighborhood.
Nueces County resident Dan Zamora holds his phone with a picture of flooding in front of his house last year on May 3, 2022. For the first time since moving here 30 years ago, Zamora's home flooded twice last year. "The county judge listened and promised to get things done," Zamora said. “They promised to get the work done and they did but it’s just not finished.” Zamora cited an overgrowth of brush and trash blocking the flow of water downstream, leading to flooding in his neighborhood.
Coryell County Judge Roger Miller poses for a photo near a creek at low water crossing on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Gatesville, TX. Coryell county will receive money from the government to help build bridges in areas where there are low water passes that flood in heavy rainfall and can leave certain residents with an inability to leave their homes because of the blocked roads. Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune

Unmet rural needs


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