Why is anyone lending money on homes built in a flood plain? One year after Harvey, construction in Houston floodplain prompts new concerns.
Nine hundred homes are being built on an old golf course located in the floodplain, reports CBS News’ Omar Villafranca. The grass and ponds soaked up Harvey’s floodwaters and kept the water from spilling into the surrounding area. With new concrete going over the old course, the water won’t soak into the ground.
It isn’t just the other homes that will be impacted. These 900 homes are also in line to be flooded.
It isn’t the first time someone in Houston has done this.
There is a damn in the Houston area, which holds back water to keep the City of Houston from flooding. Usually the land behind the damn is a park, with trails and benches. So far so good. If memory serves, the top of the spillway is about 100 feet above sea level. The problem, beyond the park there are homes that are at 95 feet above sea level. You can see the problem, even if the people who built the homes couldn’t. And apparently some homeowners had never been told that fact.
But these 900 homes will be built, and people will buy them, and eventually – next year or 100 years from now – they will flood and the owners will cry, “Why did no one tell me?” Look around your home and imagine everything on the ground floor under 5 feet of water, or more. How much of your life’s treasures would be lost?
A year after Harvey, work crews are still fixing roads and sidewalks and rebuilding houses. Some areas experienced more than two feet of water, forcing a number of residents to demolish their homes altogether.
And if you don’t have flood insurance, you won’t be covered for a flood. Same for earthquake, hurricane, and probably a few other exclusions. (I have lived in places where separate policies for earthquake and hurricane were available, if you could afford them.)