Below the Waterlines: Houston After Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Harvey was a seminal moment in the history of Houston. Five years later, where do things stand? Houston Public Media examines efforts to make the region more resilient to better prepare for the next big storm.
Below the Waterlines: Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Below the Waterlines: Houston After Hurricane Harvey

From Houston Public Media News 88.7

Hurricane Harvey was a seminal moment in the history of Houston. Five years later, where do things stand? Houston Public Media examines efforts to make the region more resilient to better prepare for the next big storm.

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5. What we learned

5. What we learned

Key Takeaways After spending the past several months trying to answer whether Houston is better prepared for the next major storm, we discovered the answer was not so simple. Over the course of this podcast, you've heard reporters at Houston Public media analyze data, speak with residents who are still suffering and ones who have recovered and moved on, and ask local officials some hard questions. In this last Bonus episode, hear our reporters share their key takeaways, surprises, and what questions still linger.

4: The Fallout of Buyouts

Experts and decision-makers agree: home buyouts are more important than ever. Flood risk for most Houstonians is only getting worse in the wake of climate change and urban development. The problem is that buyouts are a bureaucratic nightmare. Reporter Sara Willa Ernst takes us to two buyout neighborhoods and shows us how people get caught up in that painful process. SHOW NOTES: Study on the inequity in buyout outcomes - Kevin Loughran & James R. Elliott at Rice University Study on the value of buyouts before houses are built - Kayode Atoba, Galen Newman, Samuel Brody, Wesley Highfield, Youjung Kim and Andrew Juan, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Institute of Disaster Resilience Harris County's SAFE Fund for undocumented buyout participants H.R.1917 - Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects Act, filed by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher

3: Flood control goes green

Unlike the traditional gray infrastructure, which relies on concrete, green infrastructure uses nature to slow down, absorb, and filter floodwaters. After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, we look at what role green solutions can have in making Houston more flood resilient. From floating wetlands to an abandoned golf course-turned-nature preserve, we visit innovative green solutions that are being tested across the county. Show Notes: Exploration Green Coastal Prairie Conservancy Harris County Flood Control District Raingarden Project Bayou City Waterkeeper: Making nature-based solutions work in Houston's Black and brown Communities EPA: Green Stormwater Infrastructure

2: Fixing the Reservoirs

Even today, tens of thousands of homes sit inside reservoirs that may flood again if Houston gets another storm like Harvey. And if the Addicks and Barker reservoirs fail, they'll cause catastrophic damage to downtown Houston and to countless Houstonians. One big solution stakeholders want is a massive tunnel system to carry away the stormwater. In this episode, we look at what's standing in the way. SHOW NOTES: Harris County Flood Control District, "Countywide Large Diameter Tunnels for Stormwater Conveyance," Phase 2 Final Report, March 2022 Harris County Flood Control District, "Virtual Public Meeting, Tributary C124-00-00 Feasibility Study," July 12, 2022 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, "Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study," Interim Feasibility Report, October 2020

1: How Has Houston Changed?

Hurricane Harvey devastated greater Houston back in August of 2017. The storm flooded over one hundred fifty thousand homes in Harris County. Two feet of rain was dumped in the first twenty four hours and left a third of the city under water. In the first episode, we'll visit with people who are still struggling to find normalcy five years later. We also examine how Houston's flood mitigation strategies have evolved since the storm, and what challenges stand in the way. DOCUMENTS CITED National Weather Service: Hurricane Harvey Harris County Flood Control District: Recovering from Harvey City of Houston - Recovery from Hurricane Harvey NOAA: Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

Trailer: Below the Waterlines: Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Trailer: Below the Waterlines: Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey was a seminal moment in the history of Houston. Five years later, where do things stand? Houston Public Media examines efforts to make the region more resilient to better prepare for the next big storm.