Harvey Recovery Czar Faces Limits to ‘Future-Proofing’ Texas

The Washington Post: AUSTIN, Texas — The man tasked with overseeing Texas’ Hurricane Harvey rebuilding efforts sees his job as “future-proofing” before the next disaster, but he isn’t empowered on his own to reshape flood-prone Houston or the state’s vulnerable coastline, which has been walloped by three major hurricanes since 2006.

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp will face the same political and bureaucratic challenges that have long stalled meaningful improvements in storm protections, and some doubt that even Harvey’s record flooding and huge price tag will bring about real change.

“It doesn’t give me very much confidence at all,” Houston resident Steve Sacks said of the prospects that the government will get the recovery right. Sacks’s home has flooded four times since 2012, and even before Harvey’s floodwaters near the rooftops in his Meyerland neighborhood, he was frustrated by delays and what he believes is the mismanagement of a government project to elevate homes in the city. Continue reading>>