Harris County Flood Control holds first engagement meeting with Sims Bayou residents

HOUSTON — Is there a flood of fears over Harris County's proposed $2.5 billion flood bond?

The Harris County Flood Control District held the first of 23 meetings around the county watersheds on Tuesday night aimed at educating voters about the proposed flood bond issue to be held on Aug. 25.

Residents of the Sims Bayou watershed had a chance to learn more about the county's plans to shore up flood-prone zones and help improve overall drainage across the county.

"So, one way to look at this is, 'hey, why should I pay for this— and I'm just going to have the flood insurance so that's going to pay for that,'" resident Neel Mehta pondered as some may weigh the value of the county bond versus personal flood insurance.

As Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced last month, the flood bond meetings are a two-way street.

The county isn't just spewing out statistics-- local officials want to hear directly from residents in each watershed where flood concerns and problem areas are so that the county can develop an effective plan for dealing with every recurring flood zone.

"We got through Harvey together. The only way we can make our community more resilient is by doing it together," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett remarked at Tuesday night's meeting.

As the flood control meetings make the rounds around the county, officials hope residents will participate and help be part of the solution.

If the current schedule remains in place, early voting on the bond issue will begin on Aug. 8.

Ultimately, the voters will decide if home buyouts and fixing frequent flood zones is worth higher property taxes in the long run.