Looking Through the Wrong End of the Drainpipe: The Politics of Misdirection

Seventh in a series of eight articles on flood-mitigation funding in Harris County. For the last two years, I’ve heard the same tirades in Commissioners’ Court – that rich neighborhood’s get all the flood-mitigation money while the poor neighborhoods get none. According to Commissioners Ellis and Garcia, that’s because higher home values in rich neighborhoods […]

Watersheds with Low Voter Turnout Get Most Flood-Mitigation Funding

Sixth in a series of eight articles on flood-mitigation funding in Harris County In August of 2018, Harris County voters approved a historic flood bond of $2.5 billion. Afterwards, KTRK ABC13 created an interactive precinct-by-precinct voter turnout map for the referendum.  Now, with spending data for flood mitigation projects in hand, we can see that, in general, but not in every […]

Racial Rhetoric Distracts from Focus on Real Solutions to Flooding Problems. Here is Why.

Fifth in a series of eight articles on flood-mitigation funding in Harris County On June 11, Russ Poppe, executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, resigned after two years of hounding by Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia over the distribution of flood-bond money. Ellis and Garcia kept pushing Poppe to accelerate flood-mitigation […]

Low-Income Watersheds Get Three Times More Flood-Mitigation Funding Per Square Mile

Fourth in a series of eight on flood-mitigation funding in Harris County Since 2019, Commissioners Ellis and Garcia have harped on the need for more “equity” in flood-mitigation funding. They and some residents in their precincts allege that all the money is going to high-income watersheds while minority, low-income watersheds get “none.” Ellis repeatedly complains […]

Six Low-Income Watersheds Receive More Funding than 15 Higher Income Watersheds Combined

Third of an eight-part series on flood-mitigation funding in Harris County Some people and their representatives in low-to-moderate-income (LMI) watersheds have complained that they get “no” flood-mitigation funding and that the money is all going to richer watersheds. Allegedly, that’s because home values are higher there and thus favor higher benefit/cost ratios (a sort of […]