HOUSTON — Saturday is your last chance, Harris County voters. You will decide on one of the most historic bond measures in the Houston area’s history.
Hurricane Harvey is a piece of history Janie Murray is happy to put behind her. Murray’s home in northeast Houston flooded with up to 4 feet of water. Thanks to volunteer efforts from the United Way and Baker Ripley, the finishing touches on Murray’s home were completed Friday.
“I have voted. I have voted for it because we need more drainage system in the city of Houston,” Murray said.
The purpose of the $2.5 billion bond measure— as clearly stated by County Judge Ed Emmett himself— is “assisting with recovery from previous floods and making our county more resilient to future events.”
A 12-page list of bond projects, including projects proposed for each individual watershed district, is available online.
“In some areas, it’s adding detention basins in some areas. It’s increasing the capacity of the creek or bayous so it can handle and carry more water in other areas. It’s buying out homes that continue to flood time and time again,” explains Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with Harris County Flood Control District.
And another important piece of the puzzle is that a portion of the bond triggers securing billions more in federal matching funds. An important factor when estimates of long-term costs to fixing the Houston area’s flooding problems range from $25 billion to nearly $60 billion.
Cynthia Neely with Residents Against Flooding, says her home is still isn’t livable.
“This bond we have to approve it, because there’s absolutely nothing else going for us. The county has basically thrown us a life raft. It may not be the boat we want, but it’s better than no boat at all,” Neely said.
And at Eleanor Tinsley, a park that was mostly underwater this time last year, even those not directly victimized by Harvey have an opinion.
“I’m inn support and I think it’s important to get out and vote. We’ve got to protect ourselves from the next storm, it’s just a matter of time,” Linda Fox said.
“We need to vote yes, because a lot of people suffer a lot. More than me,” Juan Centino said.
Remember to get out there voters, this decision will have long reaching consequences for generations to come.