Tag Archive for: cajun navy

Mother Nature Does Not Respect Political Boundaries

Harris County Flood Warning System rainfall totals while this post was being written.

Someone asked me yesterday, with considerable frustration, why flood mitigation took so long.

On their way to the Lake Houston Area, floodwaters cross more political and departmental boundaries than I have fingers and toes to count on. (That’s especially true if you consider funding to address flooding, rule-making bodies that affect flooding, groups that predict flooding, and departments that respond to flooding). The short list includes:

  1. Houston
  2. Houston Public Works
  3. Houston Planning and Development
  4. Houston City Council
  5. Houston Emergency Management
  6. Houston Police Department
  7. Houston Fire Department
  8. 911
  9. TransStar
  10. Humble
  11. Porter
  12. Spring
  13. Woodlock
  14. New Caney
  15. Splendora
  16. Conroe
  17. The Woodlands Township
  18. Harris County
  19. Harris County Flood Control
  20. Harris County Emergency Management
  21. Harris County Sheriffs’ Department
  22. Montgomery County
  23. Waller County
  24. San Jacinto County
  25. Walker County
  26. San Jacinto River Authority
  27. State of Texas
  28. Governor of the State of Texas
  29. Texas House
  30. Texas Senate
  31. Texas Department of Public Safety
  32. Texas Division of Emergency Management
  33. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  34. Texas Parks and Wildlife
  35. United States of America
  36. Department of Defense
  37. U.S. Army
  38. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  39. Homeland Security
  40. FEMA
  41. Housing and Urban Development
  42. Environmental Protection Agency
  43. NOAA
  44. National Weather Service
  45. National Hurricane Center
  46. U.S. Geological Service
  47. U.S. House of Representatives
  48. U.S. Senate
  49. U.S. President
  50. Cajun Navy

My apologies if I left anyone out. I could have drilled down into each one of these – the way I did for the City of Houston. But the Cajun Navy didn’t have an org chart. I also ran out of places on my calculator.

Seriously, flood mitigation has waaaay more moving parts than an aircraft carrier. But that’s a somewhat unfair analogy, because an aircraft carrier has a captain who knows where he wants to go and how to get there.

No wonder this stuff takes so long.

Can you imagine? Someone is breaking into your house. You call the police, but the 911 operator tells you to hang tight while the governor and president declare an emergency; Congress appropriates funds; Emergency Management devises a response plan; FEMA reviews your claim; three other agencies hire consultants who conduct an area-wide threat survey; TDEM prioritizes your needs; the Army Corps of Engineers studies bids; and the City works out an inter-local agreement with the County to raise matching funds, so that HUD can provide the money to buy out your house … when you’re dead and buried.

Who would tolerate an emergency response system that responds that way? 325 million Americans. That’s who.

If only Mother Nature respected political boundaries the way we do!

Happy Independence Day!

Posted July 4, 2018 by Bob Rehak

309 Days since Hurricane Harvey