Landev Engineer’s Bob Boozer, PE and Austin Brauel, PE, ENV SP closed out the end of Infrastructure Week by attending a panel discussion entitled “Hurricane Harvey Recovery & Resiliency: The Future of Houston Area Stormwater Infrastructure,” hosted by the HESS Club and presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Texas Section.
The conversation was focused on how regional stormwater infrastructure fared during Hurricane Harvey, current infrastructure recovery needs, and future resiliency plans. The diverse panel included Carrol Haddock, PE, M.ASCE, Director of the City of Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering; Alan Black, PE, Director of the Engineering Division of the Harris County Flood Control District; Kathleen Jackson, PE of the Texas Water Development Board; and Eddie Williams, Public Assistance Group Supervisor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The session was moderated by Steve Costello, PE, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Houston. Panel members brought a wide range of perspectives from their personal experiences with recovery efforts, offered lessons learned, and proposed an effective stormwater management plan for the future.
Attendees were informed that Mayor Turner has expressed interest in putting Rebuild Houston back on the ballot in November, which will provide funds for maintenance and rehabilitation of intercity neighborhoods and local drainage infrastructure. They were also told that a Harris County Bond election will take place on August 25th, just one year after Harvey made landfall, which is currently estimated around $2.6 billion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) also has plans to make more stormwater information available to the general public by recalibrating Harris County’s intensity, duration, and frequency (IDF) rainfall curves and making them available by the end of 2018.