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How county officials plan to prevent another Houston flood

HOUSTON – Four weeks after Harvey hit Houston, the numbers are staggering.

On average, 33 1/2 inches of rain fell on Harris County in four days. That is about 69 percent of our annual rainfall.  

Meteorologist Jeff Lindner of the Harris County Flood Control District said, "Harvey exceeds every single rainfall event in the U.S. And it exceeds the closest event, which happened in the state of Louisiana in 1940, by 62 percent."

With each passing day, the trash along the streets grows. Harris County said its contractors are about halfway through the first pass through unincorporated areas of the county as well as the City of South Houston, The City of Shore Acres and Hunters Creek Village.

The goal: complete the first pass within 90 to 120 days 

Full presser video: Harris County officials provide updates in Harvey response, recovery process

"We will go past every house three times. The first pass is the biggest effort because that's when most debris is out," engineer John Blount of Harris County said.

Now the county looks at preventing another flood. The county judge said it will include looking at current flood plains, as well as development, completing current flood control projects and possibly redefining the 100- and 500-year flood plains.  

"We've had three, 500-year events in two years. Does that mean our definition of a 500-year event is wrong or does that maybe mean we have 1,500 years free and clear? I don't think that anyone thinks the latter is the case. Clearly, we have to go back and look at what our flood plains are," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said.

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