Infrastructure & Flooding
Flooding has had a severe and adverse impact on the people and property of Texas Congressional District 2 (TX-02). Allison, Ike, Memorial Day, Tax Day, and Harvey have wreaked havoc on the region. We’ve been told these severe weather events occur every 100 or 500 years. That’s not been the case.
Our community has provided amazing examples of resiliency and ingenuity, and we deserve representatives who will take this continuing threat to our community seriously. As the Congressman serving the people of TX–02, I will work urgently across all lines – district, city, county, state, and party lines – to get the resources and action we need to protect our people and property.
This plan will evolve over time as we complete projects and identify new needs. I will hold quarterly public meetings with TX–02 residents and local and state officials to ensure transparency and public input and to hold all officials accountable to a reasonably rigorous timeline.
PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
- —Build either a third reservoir west of Addicks and Barker and/or utilize landowner inducements to store water on their land.
- —Repair and strengthen Addicks and Barker reservoirs, and make structural improvements to Lake Houston and Lake Conroe.
- —Make Bayou and channel improvements and increase detention throughout TX–02, from Brays Bayou to Cypress Creek to the San Jacinto River and all points in between.
- —Develop a coastal spine or wall to protect our coastal communities and Port of Houston.
- —Raise bridges and overpasses so they don’t serve as dams in future floods.
- —Refortify and expand our natural habitats, e.g., Katy Prairie, to protect our community.
- —Dredge the East and West Fork of the San Jacinto River, Cypress Creek, Lake Houston, Addicks and Barker reservoirs to levels that will protect our communities.
HOME REPAIR AND BUYOUT
- —Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program and limit the number of times a home may be repaired before it must be bought out.
- —Establish a Buyout Bank with federal, state, and local dollars set aside for repeat flood properties and relocate families and individuals to safer ground in quick fashion.
- —Incentivize responsible new residential construction to ensure housing availability for those bought out.
- —Redraw the flood plain maps for our region on a regular basis and make it open to public input.
- —Work with business and local, state and federal governments to ensure any activity, e.g., sand mining, is being done legally, responsibly and in a manner that won’t harm property owners.
- —Establish a CarFax-style service for homes, so people moving into an area can easily check to see if the home they might buy has flooded.
- —Develop a warning system that’s widely broadcast and understandable. Get rid of Flash Flood Warning vs. Flood Warning. Establish a flood hotline and real-time website.
- —Educate community on steps to take in neighborhoods and at home to detain water safely, keep water flowing, and avoid risk to life or property.
- —Explore the creation of a Regional Water Authority to focus on both our region’s water supply and managing flood waters, including consistent dredging and channel improvements across the region and detention efforts across the region.
- —Within existing entities, explore the creation of local watershed districts to make sure our regional efforts are taking into account all effects (especially downstream) and that we are working smartly and efficiently at the local level.