Houston Newsmakers for July 15: Flood relief funds are on way, expressing Harvey through art

Flood relief funds are on the way

HOUSTON – The downpours in some Houston areas on  July  Fourth brought 6 to 8 inches of rain in three hours. They caused widespread street flooding but could have been much worse.

There were very few reports of water in homes. Russ Poppe, the executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, is a guest on this week’s "Houston Newsmakers" with Khambrel Marshall.

“When the streets start filling up with water during this type of intense rainfalls, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do,” Poppe said. “That gets the water out of the subdivisions and down to one of our receiving streams as quickly as possible.”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who is also on this week’s program, said the billions of dollars Congress has appropriated for the region will be a big help in a process that will take years to complete.

In the meantime, Emmett is asking voters to approve a $2.5 billion bond to address even more flood concerns, saying that ”$700 million to $900 million of that $2.5 billion will really draw down federal dollars. We have to provide a match, but beyond that, there are a lot of projects that don’t qualify for federal dollars but people are still in harm's way. We have to make sure we get as many people out of harm's way as possible.”  

Also on this week’s program is Edmond Russo Jr., Ph.D., deputy district engineer for programs for the U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers in Galveston. He gives great insight into what the Crops responsibility is in creating and maintaining an integrated flood mitigation plan for the region.

***See more in this week’s Houston Newsmakers EXTRA.***

Fort Bend County to observe Hurricane Harvey 1-year anniversary through the arts

On Aug. 25 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Fort Bend Recovers will host the Harvey Experience, a showcase survivors' artistic expression.

The deadline is Aug. 1 for Fort Bend County residents to enter whatever kind of artistic expression they desire that reflects how Hurricane Harvey affected them.

“We wanted to make sure that we are marking and acknowledging the anniversary but we wanted to make sure that we’re doing it in a positive manner to help people move forward with their recovery,” said Caroline Egan, with the Fort Bend Office of Emergency Management.

Dr. Amy Harkins, a psychologist working with the event, said people can’t run away from difficult situations and expect to solve them and this will be a great outlet for survivors.

”I’d love to see a Harvey quilt,” Harkins said. “I’d be interested in hearing a Harvey rap song. I am interested in any way. We are a very diverse community and we have a lot of different ways of communicating what we’re feeling and thinking, so I’d love to have all of that there.”

For information about the event, click here.
More Information:
• Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County 
• https://JudgeEmmett.org 
• Phone:713-274-7000
•Twitter: @EdEmmett
•Russ Poppe, Executive Director, Harris County Flood Control District
•Phone: 713-684-4000
•Twitter: @HCFCD
•Edmond Russo Jr.,Ph.D., Deputy District Engineer for Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• https://bit.ly/2JlGNDt 
•Caroline Egan, Ft.Bend Office of Emergency Management
•Twitter: @fbcoem
•Amy Harkins, 
•Email: aharkins@eastersealshouston.org  

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