From technology to mitigation, what's changed 4 years after Hurricane Harvey

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, August 26, 2021
4 years after Harvey, flood mitigation projects still far from done
Houston and Harris County have committed billions of dollars to remedy the flood problems exposed by Hurricane Harvey. Four years later, though, many of those projects are far from complete.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- From technology to mitigation projects, much has changed four years after Hurricane Harvey, but for some neighbors, it's not moving fast enough.

Aug. 25 brings back painful memories for Doris Brown, whose northeast Houston home was filled with inches of water during the 2017 storm.

"It was devastating to me," Brown recalled. "I was angry. I was hurt. Disappointed. I went through a whole range of emotions in 35 or 40 seconds."

Brown lives not too far from where ABC13's cameras captured rising water near the Eastex Freeway and Tidwell Road.

With another storm potentially forming in the Caribbean, Brown's worried about early next week.

"It just gets horrific as time goes along from just a thought that every hurricane will bring more devastation to your life," Brown said.

Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner said people should prepare and pay attention this weekend. He suggests that people should also take a look at the county's flood warning system.

"You're in control of it," Lindner explained. "You set the levels you want to be alerted for."

The system was in place during Hurricane Harvey, but four years later, there are changes. Now, it's mobile-friendly, and you can get the mapping to show how high the water is near your location.

"Making that into a graphical picture, showing how close the water is potentially getting to certain areas is more of a visual aid to helping people make the decisions they need to make," Lindner explained.

The county and city of Houston have also been working on mitigation projects since Harvey. So far, Harris County has completed 27 of about 180.

The city of Houston said it's invested $780 million in infrastructure projects but needs another $1 billion.

It could take years to complete work, but Brown fears she doesn't have time.

"Everyone is on the edge of their chair," Brown said. "We're nervous. We just want to know why? What has been done?"

These are questions she ponders as another storm potentially forms, in which she hopes doesn't bring anymore painful memories.

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