Close to 2,000 homes reported damaged in Harris County as post-Imelda assessment process begins

High water covered parts of Grand Parkway feeder lanes near Valley Ranch Parkway on Sept. 19.

High water covered parts of Grand Parkway feeder lanes near Valley Ranch Parkway on Sept. 19.

In hopes of securing federal funding, city and county recovery officials have started performing damage assessments of properties affected by tropical depression Imelda.

Houston has reported 1,000 to 1,500 damaged properties and will likely report more as assessments continue, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Sept. 23.

Another 540 homes in unincorporated Harris county were reported damaged, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management uses a formula to determine the dollar amount of damage a county must sustain to qualify for an application from the state to the federal government for a federal disaster designation.

To qualify for a federal disaster designation, Harris County must sustain an estimated $15.5 million in damage and neighboring Montgomery County must sustain an estimated $1.7 million in damage, a TDEM representative said.

Additionally, statewide damage must total 800 or more uninsured homes that have been destroyed or received major damage and over $37.7 million in damage. If both thresholds are not met, the state will not qualify for a federal disaster designation and therefore funds cannot be extended to individual counties.

If granted a federal disaster designation, the county and the city may receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for rebuilding both public and private infrastructure. The notoriously slow process, means many repairs are performed before funds are disbursed and are instead allocated in the form of reimbursements.

Despite a need to “streamline the process” Turner said he and Hidalgo are working to gain the federal disaster designation quickly to set the process in motion.

“We are doing everything we can to get [President Donald Trump] to sign a declaration,” he said.

Turner said he was encouraged by remarks made by Trump on a visit to Houston on Sept. 21 during which he said he “wanted to do everything he could.”
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


Houston resident Marissa Hanson spoke on keeping tax rates low during the Harris County Commissioners Court public hearing on Sept. 21. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Commissioners propose tax cuts at cost of Harris Health System funding

On average, Harris County homeowners may see lower tax rates in the next year, but it will come at the cost of $17 million in funding for the county’s hospital district, according to Harris County Administrator David Berry.

A new collaborative joint research building is in the works that will be housed on Texas Medical Center’s new life science campus. (Courtesy Elkus Manfredi Architects)
Texas Medical Center: Fall 2023 completion announced for research hub for life science campus expansion project

A new research building is underway that will be located in the heart of a future 37-acre TMC3 campus.

Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy’s annual MusicFest will return in 2021 for its eighth iteration. (Courtesy Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy)
Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy announces MusicFest return in 2021

Patrons can enjoy a free festival that will include a lineup of 57 musicians, a Haunted House Maze, Trunk or Treat and costume contests.

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

The H-GAC also helps guide transportation activities through the Transportation Policy Council, according to the council's website (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston-Galveston Area Council celebrates 55th anniversary

The Houston-Galveston Area Council will be celebrating its 55th anniversary this October.

Bellaire City Council approved its FY 2021-22 budget on Sept. 20. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bellaire City Council roundup: Council approves budget, lump-sum payment for overpaid sales tax

Bellaire general fund revenues equal almost $23.2 million, with expenditures just shy of $23 million.

Loosened taxicab regulations that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic became permanent Sept. 15. (Courtesy Pexels)
Houston loosens taxicab regulations

The changes, approved by city council Sept. 15, reflect a new approach to the city’s relationship with taxicab operators.

Selected artwork will be showcased in several display windows on the first floor of the Ion. (Courtesy of the Ion)
Ion opens call for art with installations forthcoming

Looking for art to showcase in display windows, The Ion and Rice Management Company are calling for preliminary installation proposals from local artists.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Daily average hospitalizations drop 15% week over week; ICU sees dip in number of patients

Coronavirus patients at TMC hospitals number 2,107, which in itself is an 11% week over week decline.

At a Sept. 11 practice, Houston Girls Hockey Association teams took the ice to prepare for their first games the weekend of Sept. 17. (Courtesy Houston Girls Hockey Association)
New Houston-area all-girls hockey league set to play first games this weekend, Sept. 17-19

The league was created to give school-aged girls a chance to continue playing hockey through college, since young girls can often feel discouraged playing on co-ed teams, Director of Membership Valory Zeck said.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.