After centuries of fighting back water in a low-lying nation, the Dutch have become the world leaders in flood control. And their expertise is helping Texas design what would become the nation’s most ambitious — and expensive — coastal barrier.
During the first legislative session since Hurricane Harvey, state lawmakers are poised to make an investment in storm recovery and flood mitigation that some have described as unprecedented. But it's more complicated than that.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office proposed a massive levee system for the Houston area in late October that would cost as much as $20 billion. It's part of a larger plan to protect the state's coastline from hurricane storm surge.
Using new methodology that includes flood maps and hydraulic modeling, scientists and flood engineers worked with the city to find out which parts of Houston are still struggling post-Harvey, and what it'll take to help residents recover.
The deadly storm was indiscriminate during its week of destruction. Texans living in the massive disaster area were thrust into a historic housing recovery effort rife with bureaucratic roadblocks, agonizing financial decisions and still-lingering anxieties.
"We are ready, and we are taking steps on a daily basis to make sure we will be able to address any challenge coming our way," Abbott told reporters after a briefing President Donald Trump and federal emergency officials.
In the six months since state and federal officials decided to use the biggest housing recovery in modern history to rewrite the nation's disaster playbook, neighborly networks and organized charity have buoyed disheartened Texans on the coast.
Starting today, you can preorder "Harvey: Devastation, Courage and Recovery in the Eye of the Storm," a chronological account of the hurricane — from early warnings that Houston was at serious risk to the heartbreaking aftermath.
The Texas Water Development Board is crafting the state's first-ever flood plan, which will take a comprehensive look at flooding vulnerabilities across the state and the projects that might mitigate them.
by Justin Elliott, Jessica Huseman and Decca Muldowney, ProPublica
According to emails obtained by ProPublica, officials in several counties were extremely critical of the Red Cross' response to Hurricane Harvey, saying the organization communicated poorly and didn't bring in supplies as expected.