Flooding events are traumatic and their effects are long lasting, not only from the economic impacts, but also from the emotional and psychological effects. Emotional as keepsakes are filled with sewer water mixed with stormwater runoff – photographs, books, financial papers, clothes, and personal letters – all victims of the flood. Psychological because every rainstorm awakens slumbering victims as fear punctuates every lightning strike. Many people sell their homes for pennies on the dollar. Some walk away from an upside down mortgage. Still others fix their homes and home it doesn’t happen again, or, if they can afford it, they level their flooded homes and rebuild on an elevated slab.
Residents Against Flooding was founded as a result of one of these flooding events. Public officials told neighbors that the rain event that caused the flooding – a freak thunderstorm that formed from an outflow boundary of a powerful spring cold front; a one/two punch – was a once-in-a-lifetime act-of-God event that wouldn’t happen again. It wasn’t. It was a result of poor development practices, unenforced ordinances, and unwarranted variances. And we intend to prove it. Because our area has experienced extraordinary growth, we can cite examples of all the problems in a relatively concentrated zone.
This website is to help you identify similar issues in your neighborhood, help you understand what’s wrong with Houston’s ordinances, and explain positive actions that you can take to address these concerns. We’ll share with you the clever techniques our neighbors have devised to help minimize damage, or speed recovery when a flood does occur.
Many people have freely given their time to research these issues, to compile the proof, and, after failing to get the City to act to stop these practices, to raise the funds necessary to file a lawsuit to force change.