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Fort Bend County reports Harvey destroyed or damaged 6,800 homes


Homes in the Cinco Ranch and Canyon Gate subdivisions took the biggest hit, thanks in part to overflow from the Barker Reservoir

by Andrew Schneider
Fort Bend County is tallying the wreckage from Hurricane Harvey, more than half a year on. Officials now say the storm destroyed or damaged more than 6,800 homes.
“Those damaged homes, a little over 3,000 of those happened up in the Canyon Gate/Cinco Ranch area of Fort Bend County,” said Jeff Braun, Fort Bend County’s emergency management coordinator.
Fort Bend took more than 30 inches of rain during Harvey. Many residents learned the hard way that they lived in the Barker Reservoir flood pool, when both Barker and the neighboring Addicks Reservoir backed up.
The county carried out more than 10,000 rescues during the storm and its aftermath, and more than 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate.
County officials are working on an updated public notification system with improved technology to better notify residents when the next storm hits. Roads and bridges are also being repaired around the county.
Among other items approved by commissioners during the meeting: Purchase of two new vehicles to replace fleet of the Juvenile Probation Department, as well as a vehicle for the Constable Precinct 4’s office.
The county has waived some of its permit fees to help people who lost their homes to rebuild and recover. Braun said the county has also completed repairs on seven bridges, 18 water control structures, and some damaged roads. But he said much work remains to be done.
The County Commissioners allocated $12,000 to pay contractor Tetra Tech to complete the research required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages sustained from the 2016 floods so the county may receive the Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant. The county applied for the grant, requesting $15-$16 million, in October 2016 after the flooding events, Braun said.
FEMA is now considering the application, but they are requiring the county to reevaluate damages because the events took place over a year ago, Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert said.
“So much time has passed due to [FEMA’s] inefficiency that we need to re-answer these questions, and we have to do it by the end of this month or we lose our eligibility [for funding],” Hebert said.

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