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Raising the Alarms as Hurricane Harvey Heads for Houston and the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Harvey was expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday. If the damage in human and economic terms is terrible, a lack of infrastructure maintenance and development responsibility will be to blame.
August 26, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jessica Leigh Hester reports on the impending threat of Hurricane Harvey, which as of this writing had yet to make landfall on the Texas Coast.

The article presents the threats presented by Hurricane Harvey as particularly dire. Here's one of the summarizing passages describing the confluence of planning and development decisions that could make Harvey a much more dangerous visitor than previous storms.

As the population has boomed across this Sunbelt city in recent years, an increasing number of people and buildings find themselves in a vulnerable position. Meanwhile, thousands of acres of wetlands that might have helped absorb excess rainfall have been gobbled up by development. When paved surfaces can’t perform the crucial work of stormwater retention, “even lesser storms are invested with more destructive power,” Kriston Capps noted last summer. Harvey is no minor storm—and it is slated to batter a city with relatively poor flood infrastructure and no statewide insurance requirement.

Hester also sits down for an interview with Samuel David Brody, director of the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M Galveston, to get more insight on what to expect from the storm.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 25, 2017 in CityLab
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