Engineers 20 years ago warned of flooding risk for Harris County

DALLAS, Texas (KTRK) -- Arthur Storey is fuming mad and it has to do with the flood.

The foot-deep water he now sloshes through in his west Houston neighborhood shouldn't be here.

As the former Harris County director of flood control, Storey said he wrote about how to prevent what happened during Harvey more than 20 years ago.

Instead, he says his plans were just tossed aside, leading to the disaster our city faces now.

In a newly resurfaced report penned during the 90s, Storey suggested ways to save thousands of homes.

"This is a manmade tragedy," Storey said.

Back in 1996, Storey told officials the Harris County reservoir system wouldn't be able to handle a storm the size of Harvey.

"This isn't caused by rain," he said, on his flooded street. "This is caused by the responsible party, intentionally discharging exorbitant amounts of water, partially to save people behind the dam that I said 25 years ago shouldn't have been allowed to build there in the first place."

Storey said instead, the feds should have purchased that land to extend the reservoir, prohibiting development behind the dam and potentially saving many from the flood they are now dealing with.

He also said an underground runoff system should have been developed, leading excess floodwater to the Houston Ship Channel.

When we called to ask about this now two-decade old plan, the Harris County Flood Control District referred us to the county attorney. He has yet to respond.

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