UPDATED: Voters overwhelmingly approve Harris County's $2.5 billion bond referendum one year after Hurricane Harvey

Voting took place Aug. 25 in the Harris County bond referendum for flood prevention projects.

Voting took place Aug. 25 in the Harris County bond referendum for flood prevention projects.

Updated 9:10 a.m., Aug. 27

The final tally in the $2.5 billion bond referendum, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, shows 129,944, or 85.64 percent of voters, in support of the measure, and 21,790, or 14.36 percent of voters, opposing it. A total of 152,305 of county voters, or 6.7 percent of registered voters, participated in the election. All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Updated 10:10 p.m.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, 85.68 percent of voters, or 126,800, were in favor of the bond proposition. A total of 21,197, or 14.32 percent, opposed it. A total of 6.5 percent of the county's registered voters participated in the election. All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Updated 9:52 p.m.

Exactly one year after Hurricane Harvey struck Southeast Texas, Harris County voters showed overwhelming support for the county's $2.5 billion bond referendum Aug. 25.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, 85.62 percent of voters, or 113,582, were in favor of the bond proposition for Harris County Flood Control District. A total of 19,071, or 14.38 percent of voters, opposed the measure.

As of 9:52 p.m., 5.82 percent of the county’s 2,285,881 registered voters had participated in the election. All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Joe Stinebaker, director of communications for Judge Ed Emmett’s office, said as results rolled in that Emmett thanked the voters for apparently passing the referendum by such a large margin.

“He thought it sent a very clear message to the people of Harris County, to the government of the state of Texas and United States that the people of Harris County were going to step up and take care of their share of the recovery, and that he hoped that our state officials and our federal officials would now step up and help us by providing the money and the expertise that we’re going to need over the next few years,” Stinebaker said.

Stinebaker said the next step will be for the Harris County Budget Office to begin working on the first wave of projects.

Harris County Flood Control District issued a statement Saturday night declaring victory for the proposition, which will provide funds for HCFCD projects for the next 15 years.

“We are very excited that the voters have significantly enhanced the flood control district’s ability to address the flooding issues that impact Harris County by approving the issuance of up to $2.5 billion in bonds to help us implement more flood risk reduction projects in a shorter timeframe,” HCFCD Executive Director Russ Poppe said in a statement.

Poppe said the Aug. 28 Harris County Commissioners Court agenda will include items to advance 14 flood risk reduction projects through bond funding.

HCFCD Director of Operations Matthew Zeve said Saturday night that HCFCD will continue to hold community meetings like those it held over the summer in the county’s 23 watersheds as the projects begin to take shape.

“The flood control district has a community meeting at least one for every project that we do, so we’ll be back out there in those areas that projects will effect.,” Zeve said.

Zeve echoed Poppe’s thanks to voters for supporting the measure.

“We really thank the citizens for putting their trust [in us] and believing that we can execute this bond program," Zeve said. "And from me personally, I plan to work hard over the next 10-15 years to deliver everything.”

Posted 7:24 p.m.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. in the Harris County bond referendum asking voters to approve $2.5 billion for Harris County Flood Control District projects over the next 15 years.

Early and absentee voting results show 80,815 votes, or 85.39 percent of early voters, in favor of the proposition. A total of 13,827 voters, or 14.61 percent, were against the proposition. A total of 94,642 votes were counted as early or absentee votes, according to the Harris County clerk's website.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

To learn more about the expected effects of the referendum on property taxes, visit our guide to the potential effect on tax bills. The guide answers some frequently asked questions about the cost to the average homeowner and changes to the property tax rate.

The full list of bond projects can be viewed at the Harris County Flood Control District website.

Projects by region

Here is a breakdown of projects planned in Harris County by region:
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.



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