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WATCH: Local Officials To Congressional Leaders: The Houston Region Needs To Prepare Now For The Next Storm

Members of Congress were in Harris County to hear about the region’s recovery from Harvey. Local leaders told them that mitigation efforts now could save billions of dollars in the future.

At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing held in northwest Harris County, congressional leaders heard several hours of testimony from local officials who say flood mitigation projects can’t wait. That includes things like a third reservoir along with flood control projects along local bayous.

And there’s also the human factor. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told the panel that many people are still suffering.

“I can tell you the needs of so many will require all of our efforts to overcome Harvey’s effects on their lives,” said Turner. “This includes not only the lost homes and lost jobs but the impact on behavioral health and childhood traumas.”

Turner said he’s concerned in particular about flood victims who still haven’t gotten back into their homes. That includes low-income residents as well as middle-class homeowners who are still paying a mortgage on a flood-damaged residence.

“We do have to move quickly to build as many affordable housing as we can, single family units as well as multi-family units,” added Turner.

The panel also heard from Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen, who said he’s still waiting for FEMA to reimburse the community for a million dollars in overtime for emergency personnel.

Owen said if they don’t get that money back in their emergency reserves soon, it could affect the city’s bond rating.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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