Before you vote this year, review these two graphs and a map. They should tell you everything you need to know about flooding and flood mitigation in the Lake Houston Area. They should also motivate you to vote if you are on the sidelines.
The first graph shows “feet above flood stage” during Hurricane Harvey at numerous gages on different watersheds around Harris county. It shows how high floodwater got AFTER it came “out of banks.”
The second shows the amount of flood-mitigation dollars spent in each Harris County watershed on right-of-way acquisition and construction for flood-mitigation in the first half of this year. Those activities help mitigate flooding as opposed to studies which frequently never get acted upon.
The San Jacinto Watershed moves from the high side of the flooding graph to the low side of the funding graph.
But why the first six months of this year? I’ve talked ad nauseam about spending trends going back decades. This window shows us current priorities. Especially during an election year when you would think the County Judge would try to appeal to as many people as possible.
Regardless of how you feel about the equity prioritization framework, you would think that in a ten-year bond program, areas like Lake Houston would start seeing some real benefit by now. Narrowing down the range of spending helps provide better insight into the priorities of County Judge Lina Hidalgo. She’s the deciding vote on Commissioners Court.
How to Punish The Opposition
People are saying, “OK, I’ve waited patiently. When will I see some benefit from the 2018 flood bond?” That was more than four years ago already.
Unfortunately, the answer is “no time soon.” The map below shows current active Flood-Control capital-improvement construction projects and how the three Democrats on Commissioners Court have used their majority to punish Republican-leaning areas.
Maintenance projects are shown in orange. And capital-improvement projects appear purple.
Flood Control has 20 active construction projects in the capital-improvement category. Of those:
- Republican Jack Cagle’s Precinct 4 has one.
- Republican Tom Ramsey’s Precinct 3 has one.
- Democrats Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia split the other 18 among themselves.
- Not one is in Lake Houston Area.
And Judge Lina Hidalgo allows it.
The only way for people in Precincts 3 and 4 to right this wrong is to replace Judge Hidalgo who is on the ballot running against Republican Alexandra Mealer.
So, please vote on or before November 8.
To review your ballot choices, go to HarrisVotes.com and study who and what will be on the ballot in your area this year. Yesterday’s polls show the two candidates for judge essentially tied within the margin of error. Heavy turnout in the Lake Houston Area could swing this election.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/26/22
1884 Days since Hurricane Harvey
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.