FEMA Simplifying Procedures for Small Public Assistance Grants

On January 9, 2023, FEMA released a Simplified Procedures policy for Public Assistance grants to speed up recovery for applicants. Small projects are now defined as those up to $1 million. The new policy should reduce administrative burdens and enable communities to recover more quickly after presidentially declared events by streamlining documentation requirements. FEMA will […]

Ellis Trying to Change How All Flood-Control Projects Prioritized

Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis has placed an item on the Commissioners Court agenda for 1/10/23 with far reaching ramifications for flood control in Harris County. It would change the way every future project is prioritized using a formula that gives almost half the weight to population and building density. Meanwhile, it ignores the amount […]

HCFCD Spending Slows; More Went to Buyouts than Flood Reduction

Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) released its November report on Flood-Bond progress to Commissioners Court yesterday. The report covered through October 2022. I had two major take-aways: The major announcement: the District advertised bids for the construction of a stormwater detention basin in Inwood Forest. The project encompasses property owned by the City of […]

Time for Lake Houston Area to Hit Flood-Mitigation Reset Button

During Lina Hidalgo’s first term, hundreds of millions of dollars in flood-mitigation projects went to low-income watersheds while the Lake Houston Area went begging. So what does the recent election mean for the area’s flood-mitigation goals and strategies? What can we do to reduce flood risk with the deck stacked even further against us? It’s […]

Five Watersheds Lose Population While Harris County Gains Slightly

Like damage, population is one of the “weighting factors” considered in the distribution of flood-mitigation dollars. Compared to 2017 estimates of watershed populations in Harris County, 2022 estimates show that five watersheds have lost population. But overall, the county has gained 155,254 people. The map below shows the location of each of these watersheds. Reasons […]