Hurricane Harvey

WATCH: Residents Demand Answers At Harvey Recovery Meeting

A town hall event in west Houston became heated as residents questioned how officials responded to flooding during Harvey. Residents asked about releases from Addicks and Barker reservoirs, property tax, and debris removal.

Residents gather at Saint John Vianney Catholic Church in west Houston to learn more and ask questions about Harvey recovery efforts.

What started out as a quiet meeting quickly became tense as a residents of west Houston questioned how officials responded to flooding during Harvey.

While many speakers tried to focus on FEMA grants and Small Business Administration loans, all most residents wanted to talk about was the releases from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs which flooded homes in the area.

Many residents near the reservoirs are now joining in lawsuits which allege the Army Corp of Engineers is responsible for flooding their homes which would have otherwise been left unharmed.

“I know people feel all the water in their home came from Addicks and Barker,” said Colonel Paul Owen, Commander of the Southwestern Division of the Army Corp of Engineers, as he defended the Corp. “It was!” many in crowd yelled in response.

Owen tried to provide comfort to the audience as well, saying residents near Addicks and Barker dams, “should not be concerned of any structural damage.” Owen and other officials including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick say a third dam needs to be constructed in the area.

Also in attendance were Texas State Senators Joan Huffman and Paul Bettencourt. The two addressed concerns that flood victims will have to pay full taxes on property that is no longer worth what it was originally assessed calling on Harris County to trigger a property value reassessment. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says if Harris County doesn’t reconsider property values, he will push the Texas legislature to pass a law forcing reassessments after future disasters.

Have a look at what the meeting was all about here: 

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Davis Land

Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is a senior producer at Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a graduate...

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