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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Harvey’

Mayor Turner lowers tax rate hike amount

I’m sure we’re all glad to see this. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday said the temporary property tax rate hike he has proposed would be cut in half after federal officials approved his request to increase reimbursement for the city’s Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Turner earlier this month had pitched an 8.9 percent increase for […]

Paul Bettencourt advocates doing nothing to rebuild after Harvey

He has nothing constructive to offer, that’s for sure. One of the top Republicans leaders in the Texas Legislature is slamming the city of Houston and other local governments for trying to raise taxes on homeowners in the name of hurricane recovery. And he’s certain the increase will provoke a response of some sort from […]

Some schools will have longer days

Seems like a reasonable approach, all things considered. School days will grow longer for students at 11 Houston Independent School District campuses after the Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend school days to stay in compliance with state law. The next step is for the Texas Education Agency to grant Houston ISD nine […]

The courthouse shuffle

Justice rearranged. Flood waters damaged several buildings in the courthouse complex , which is spread across a dozen city blocks in north downtown. The county’s shiny new underground jury assembly building flooded, but the biggest casualty was probably the destruction that has closed the 20-story criminal justice center for at least six to nine months. […]

More on recapture and the Rainy Day Fund

There are some conditions that have to be met to get our recapture money back. Houston Independent School District won’t have to hand millions of dollars to the state to spend at other schools if HISD needs that money to recover from Hurricane Harvey, but the district will have to apply for that money, Texas […]

Abbott waives fees for birth certificates for individuals from hurricane-affected counties

From Diane Trautman on Facebook, also sent to me in email: Governor Greg Abbott has approved a request allowing the state to waive fees for mail-in or walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, and local registrars to waive fees for walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, for individuals from hurricane-affected counties. This is important for several reasons, one of […]

House to study Harvey-related issues

Good to see. House Speaker Joe Straus is asking three House committees to wade into issues related to Hurricane Harvey, including how the state can maximize federal funds and whether to rethink how to grade schools affected by the storm this year. Straus issued five interim charges Thursday, focused largely on education issues, like the […]

HISD may get a recapture reprieve thanks to Harvey

Talk about a mixed blessing. The Houston Independent School District may be able to avoid paying part – or perhaps all – of its over $100 million state-mandated recapture payment. The potential reprieve comes after a school board lawyer found a state law allows districts that suffer storm damage to use recapture dollars to help […]

Emmett calls for changes to county’s flood strategy

Good to see. Calling Tropical Storm Harvey’s devastation a “game-changer,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Monday called for a sweeping reexamination of the region’s flood control strategy, a process that could include billions of dollars to upgrade aging dams, building a new storm water reservoir and ramping up regulations to tamp down booming development […]

Your auto insurance rates are about to go up

Another gift to us from Harvey. Auto insurance companies have restricted options for Houston-area drivers looking to purchase new policies and replace cars flooded by Hurricane Harvey, and comprehensive rates are expected to rise after the loss of an estimated half-million vehicles. Some carriers have imposed temporary limits on selling insurance to customers in Harvey’s […]

Harris County may do Harvey bonds

Turns out Harvey recovery will cost money. Who knew? A majority of the Harris County Commissioners Court on Wednesday said they would support a large bond issue, perhaps upwards of $1 billion, and a tax increase to pay for it. The bond issue would bolster cash-strapped flood control initiatives, which could include a improvements to […]

Don’t expect any STAAR slack

Sorry, kids. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday morning that the state was not likely to let students displaced by Hurricane Harvey delay a required state test this school year — or to change the way school districts are graded at the end of the school year. “I would say, given the information I […]

Council to hold hearings on proposed tax rate increase

Here’s your chance to be heard. Houston City Council set the ball rolling Wednesday on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposed 8.9 percent tax rate hike to help fund Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey, in what would be the first hike from City Hall in more than two decades. The council voted to schedule three public hearings […]

That sinking feeling

We’re a little lower to the ground these days. Or maybe it’s just that the ground itself is lower. GPS data show #Harveyflood was so large it flexed Earth’s crust, pushing #Houston down by ~2 cm! #EarthScience #HurricaneHarvey #txflood pic.twitter.com/88lNScJBq9 — Chris Milliner (@Geo_GIF) September 4, 2017 Chris Milliner, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet […]

Mayor seeks one-year tax hike for Harvey cleanup

This stuff isn’t going to pay for itself, you know. Mayor Sylvester Turner will ask City Council to approve an 8.9 percent hike in the city’s tax rate this fall to help Houston recover from Tropical Storm Harvey, in what would be the first tax rate hike from City Hall in more than two decades. […]

Will we spend on some flood mitigation projects?

Maybe. We’ll see. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the construction of flood control infrastructure in the Houston area — things he said should have been built “decades and decades ago” — including a coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge. “We need more levees. […]

What will this school year be like?

School has finally started for most of HISD and many surrounding districts, but with the devastation and disruption of Harvey, what can we expect from this academic year? Many students in Houston ISD lost everything – their homes, their school supplies, their clothes, their toys. Some are staying in the mega-shelters at the George R. […]

More post-Harvey ideas

From the Chron, which likens this moment to what Galveston faced after the great hurricane of 1900: 1. Establish a regional flood control authority Floodwaters ignore city-limit signs and county-line markers. We can’t adequately address drainage issues with a mélange of municipal efforts and flood control districts split between local jurisdictions. Instead of dividing these […]

Harvey and the elections

Labor Day weekend of odd-numbered years is considered to be the opening weekend of Houston election season. The filing deadline has passed, so the fields are set and people (supposedly, at least) begin to pay attention. Candidate forums are held, endorsements are made, Chronicle candidate profiles are written, that sort of thing. Sure, some candidates […]

Who will rebuild Houston?

Vox points out what should be obvious. Unauthorized immigrants were crucial to rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And they are likely to be desperately needed as Texas rebuilds to clean streets, demolish buildings, and reconstruct homes and offices. But it’s a hostile time to be undocumented in Texas. Even beyond the Trump administration’s harsh […]

Lawsuits filed over dam releases

This ought to be interesting. A group of flooded-out Harris County homeowners and businesses sued the federal government on Tuesday, accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of knowingly condemning their properties by releasing water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs after Hurricane Harvey. Bryant Banes, a civil attorney whose Heathwood home and his wife’s […]

Charity Navigator on your best bets for Harvey relief

In case you’re still making up your mind about how to donate to Harvey relief. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday evening, August 25th, as the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004. Ahead of its landfall, many communities were ordered to evacuate, as fears arose that the […]

Hiding in Harvey’s shadows

Most of the people who have been affected by Harvey have begun to get help for their recovery. Undocumented immigrants represent the bulk of those who have not. The water surged into the modest low-lying apartments with the full force of nearby overflowing Greens Bayou, slamming toys and tiny buckled shoes onto countertops and overturning […]

Lawsuit filed over Crosby plant explosion

This ought to be fun to watch. Seven first responders who were exposed to fumes from a chemical fire last week at a Crosby, Texas, manufacturing plant have filed suit against the plant’s owner, alleging that the company’s negligence caused them “severe bodily injuries.” The plaintiffs, who include police officers and medical personnel, say in the […]

Most but not all HISD schools will open Monday

Here’s the latest. Nine storm-damaged Houston ISD campuses will remain temporarily closed when many district students return to classes for the fall following a two-week delay caused by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Thursday. Meanwhile, students at nearly 80 schools won’t return to classes until either Sept. 18 or Sept. 25. District officials released […]

Local government buildings took it on the chin from Harvey

Houses, businesses, schools, churches, government offices – the destruction caused by Harvey and the bill to fix it all keeps adding up. Local governments grappled Tuesday with the staggering costs of responding to and cleaning up after Hurricane Harvey, a trifecta of wrecked infrastructure and damaged buildings, around-the-clock overtime for rescue and recovery and a […]

From the “Stupid haters gonna stupidly hate” department

It’s the same basic story we hear about every time there’s a natural disaster, though with a bit of a twist this time. When Sandy hit the New York metropolitan area in 2012, the floodwaters in Lower Manhattan were still rising when some pastors pointed out what, to them, was obvious. “God is systematically destroying […]

More on the SB4 ruling

Circling back to one of the big court decisions from last week, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern talks to ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt about what was blocked by federal Judge Orlando Garcia in the “sanctuary cities” lawsuit. Mark Joseph Stern: SB 4’s overarching goal is to compel all Texas law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration […]

The case for calling a Harvey special session

Rep. Gene Wu disagrees with Greg Abbott’s decision. The historic level of damage and suffering caused by Harvey requires that we tap into our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to not call a special session of the Texas Legislature to access emergency funding will worsen the long-term economic effects of one of […]

Now is an excellent time to give blood

You want a simple but vital thing to do to help with Harvey recovery? Schedule a blood donation. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is appealing for donations after a four-day stoppage in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey that has left its supply at critical levels. The local bank resumed collections Thursday at 10 […]

The mosquitopocalypse is coming

It just keeps getting better and better. Harvey’s rain may have left Houston behind, but there’s another storm headed our way. It’s a cloud of mosquitoes, which breed in standing water and soon will be hatching by the millions. “It’s going to be horrible in two or three weeks,” said Cory Barcomb, operations manager for […]

Many schools were damaged by Harvey

This will add so much more disruption to the Harvey recovery efforts. More than 10,000 Houston Independent School District students are expected to start classes in temporary quarters as officials work to repair hundreds of campuses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Saturday. Carranza said the district still plans to start school on […]

Harvey was hard on farms, too

It wasn’t just the cities like Houston that suffered a lot of damage from Harvey. Harvey did more than transform cityscape by turning highways into rivers; It also upended life for farmers and ranchers across dozens of counties that Gov. Greg Abbott declared disaster zones. The powerful winds and rains destroyed crops, displaced livestock and […]

No special session needed to address Harvey flooding

So says Greg Abbott. Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday another special session of the Texas Legislature won’t be necessary to deal with the response to Hurricane Harvey. “We won’t need a special session for this,” Abbott told reporters, noting that the state has enough resources to “address the needs between now and the next session.” […]