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Moving On After Harvey Requires 'Smart' Recovery Planning

Hurricane Harvey brought record floods to the Houston area.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News
Hurricane Harvey brought record floods to the Houston area.

From Texas Standard:

As the levels in Houston's two main reservoirs continue to drop, many Texans have begun cleaning up their waterlogged homes. And in Baytown, Exxon is rebooting its refinery, the second biggest in the U.S. But there’s much more to do.


Susan Cutter, a leading scholar of disaster recovery, and director of the Hazards and Vulnerabilities Research Center at the University of South Carolina, says moving on from Hurricane Harvey will be a  marathon, not a sprint.Full recovery from the storm could take 10 to 20 years, Cutler says. And the urge to clean up and rebuild quickly often comes at the expense of good planning. Without a “smart” plan, areas that experience massive natural disaster lose population and industry, she says.

Important steps in recovering “smart” include elevating structures in flood-prone areas, establishing land-use plans and encouraging homeowners to obtain flood insurance.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.