Tag Archives: FEMA

Power by Wednesday?

As of 5 PM Saturday, CenterPoint said that 447K customers were still without power, which is about half of the original total from Thursday night. The hope is that 90% of all customers will have power by Wednesday. Which, given … Continue reading

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How Harris County has spent COVID relief funds

A lot of good stuff here. Harris County has received around $1.8 billion in federal aid to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, a staggering sum that provided struggling residents with immediate emergency relief, has kept county services running and is fueling … Continue reading

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“Near normal” hurricane season this year

Good news, bad news. Texas and the rest of the Gulf and East coasts are most likely to see a “near-normal” hurricane season this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Federal forecasters are predicting between 12 and … Continue reading

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Here come the new floodplain maps

Coming soon to tell you if you are now in the floodplain. When Harris County debuts a massive overhaul of its floodplain maps later this year, the Houston area will be the first in the country to rely on a … Continue reading

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We keep on building homes in the floodplains

It’s how we roll. When Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston region with a deluge of rain, one of the places where the water escaped its bounds was near a Spring Branch floodway known as Brickhouse Gully, satellite data shows. There, … Continue reading

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Let’s try again to fix that flood bond deficit

Hope this works. Harris County on Tuesday [unveiled] a new plan to address a funding gap for its flood bond program, which will rely more heavily on diverted toll road revenue instead of federal aid that may never arrive. The … Continue reading

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Commissioners Court partially fills the flood bond funding gap

Good. Harris County Commissioners Court took initial steps this week to plug a $1.4 billion funding hole for its flood bond program by diverting revenue from the county’s toll roads system. Court members also laid out a “backstop” plan to … Continue reading

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Now it gets harder to vaccinate people

We reached this point pretty quickly. The hill gets steeper from here. After months of not having enough COVID-19 vaccines to meet demand, Texas suddenly appears to have plenty of shots but not as many people lining up to receive … Continue reading

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Get your shot at the airport

I applaud the creative thinking, which we will continue to need. Parking lots at Bush and Hobby airports soon will be home to mass vaccination clinics for the Houston Health Department, as the supply of shots continues to ramp up. … Continue reading

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Flood funding shortfall

Still trying to understand this. Harris County on Tuesday revealed a $1.4 billion shortfall in funding for flood control projects under the bond program voters approved in 2018, a massive miscalculation that threatens to cause construction delays and cost taxpayers … Continue reading

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Why is Greg Abbott doing so little to help Texas recover from the freeze?

If this Politico story doesn’t make you mad, then either you’re a Greg Abbott shill or you really need to check your priors. Assessing the effectiveness of disaster response is a famously fraught political game. What looks like a master … Continue reading

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Biden’s visit to Houston

It’s so nice to have a normal, functional person as President, isn’t it? President Joe Biden, in his first trip to Texas since taking office, toured Houston on Friday to size up the aftermath of the state’s recent winter weather … Continue reading

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Vaccination progress

Making progress. One in eight Harris County residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, according to state and local data. A Chronicle analysis found that the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna … Continue reading

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President Biden will visit Houston on Friday

Here he comes. President Joe Biden plans to come to Texas on Friday in the wake of extensive winter storm damage in the state. The president and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Houston, according to a White House … Continue reading

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On informing the public during an emergency

Another thing the state didn’t do well. As millions of Texans fought to survive brutal winter weather without power and water, Gov. Greg Abbott told residents Wednesday to search for emergency warming shelters on Google and to call 311 for … Continue reading

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We can get back to vaccinations

Federal vaccination super site opening this week. COVID-19 vaccination efforts are about to significantly ramp up next week in Houston. The region’s first vaccination “super site” will open on Tuesday at NRG Stadium, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced on … Continue reading

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Here comes President Biden

Visiting next week for disaster-related matters, itinerary TBD. President Joe Biden said Friday that he’ll sign a major disaster declaration for Texas after millions in the state suffered power outages and water disruptions during prolonged freezing temperatures. He’s also expected … Continue reading

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Here come the super-sites

Cool. Texas is working with the federal government to open vaccination “super sites” that could administer upward of 5,000 COVID-19 vaccines per day, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday. Houston and Dallas will likely host the initial two sites, Abbott said, … Continue reading

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More vaccines coming

Still not enough, but getting better. Texas this week expects to receive more than half a million first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government, state health officials announced Friday. The 520,425 doses will be shipped to 344 … Continue reading

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Who needs testing?

Not a great idea. The Trump administration is planning to end federal support for some coronavirus testing sites across the nation at the end of the month — including seven in Texas, where confirmed cases of COVID are spiking. An … Continue reading

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Once again, we wait for disaster relief funds

At least people know the drill by now. Five deaths are linked to floods from Tropical Storm Imelda, the worst storm in Texas since Hurricane Harvey and one of the wettest tropical cyclones in the nation’s history, according to the … Continue reading

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Some flood mitigation funds are coming

Good. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded Houston its first grant aimed at mitigating flooding since Hurricane Harvey hit nearly two years ago, laying the groundwork for new gates on the Lake Houston dam and detention basins in Inwood … Continue reading

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More floodplain buyouts

Gonna keep seeing more of these. Fifteen months after Hurricane Harvey flooded more than 200,000 area homes and apartments, Harris County has begun purchasing homes in the floodplain using funds voters overwhelmingly approved in this summer’s $2.5 billion flood infrastructure … Continue reading

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One year out from Harvey

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. One year after Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast, 8 percent of the people impacted by the disaster have not been able to return to their … Continue reading

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A better match from FEMA

Good news. Federal officials have agreed to count volunteer work hours and donated materials toward the local match required for disaster recovery grants to repair streets, buildings, utilities, parks and other public facilities — a national policy change, initiated in … Continue reading

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Council approves initial Harvey housing aid

It’s a start. Houston City Council has approved a plan to direct how the first long-term federal housing aid headed this way after Hurricane Harvey will be spent, targeting $600 million to repair or build single-family homes and $375 million … Continue reading

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Abbott versus Houston on Harvey funds

I have three things to say about this. Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the city of Houston for its response to Hurricane Harvey Wednesday, critiquing what he described as a lack of sound financial planning and sluggish progress repairing flooded homes. … Continue reading

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The timing of a Harvey bond referendum

How does August grab you? Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday will consider calling a special election for August 25 — the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey — to ask voters to OK a massive bond referendum for flood control … Continue reading

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Flood tunnels

It’s so crazy, it just might work. The Harris County Flood Control District is exploring the possibility of building several massive, deep tunnels aimed at keeping storm water out of flood-prone neighborhoods and carry it underground for miles to the … Continue reading

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Houston’s flood mitigation priorities

The sooner the better with this. Converting a defunct golf course and dormant landfills into detention basins, digging new channels and buying out or elevating scores of homes are among Houston leaders’ key priorities as Hurricane Harvey recovery funds begin … Continue reading

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So where are we on Harvey response?

Stuff is happening. Local and state leaders are moving toward a major, lengthy and costly overhaul of the region’s flood defenses that includes regulating development, massive buyouts of flood-prone properties and flood-prevention projects that have been discussed for decades but never built. Few of the … Continue reading

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Harvey’s lingering health effects

It’s going to be a long time before we can really say we have put Hurricane Harvey behind us. Three months after Hurricane Harvey, local health officials now are beginning to see the storm after the storm. In Harris County … Continue reading

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Texas v the feds, disaster recovery funding edition

This would be quite entertaining to watch, if the stakes weren’t so high. Texas Republicans on Friday panned the White House’s latest disaster aid request, with Gov. Greg Abbott calling it “completely inadequate” for the state’s needs in the wake … Continue reading

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Don’t hold your breath waiting for federal Harvey recovery money

Settle in for the long haul. It could be months, if not years, before southeast Texans and scores of counties and cities receive federal funds to pay for the long-term rebuilding and recovery of homes and communities battered by Hurricane … Continue reading

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