ICYMI: Crenshaw Pens Op-ed Providing Update On Harvey Relief Efforts

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dan Crenshaw penned an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle to mark the start of 2019’s hurricane season. In the piece, Crenshaw provides updates on local and federal Harvey relief and flood mitigation efforts. Over 600 days have passed since Harvey made landfall on southeastern Texas and the Houston region is still recovering. While there is still a lot to do, local, state and federal government have worked together to implement crucial projects that will quicken recovery and better protect the community from future heavy rainfall.

Sections of the op-ed are below. To read the entire op-ed, click here.

Government’s part in recovering from Harvey — and prepping for future storms.

In the days and weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017, the Houston area faced an unimaginable level of devastation and destruction. Families were forced to move from flooded homes, businesses were destroyed, and our city found itself in a state of shock.

My district, Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, was hit from all sides. Seventy thousand households made FEMA claims totaling more than $700 million.

But in the midst of the chaos, we saw something amazing and unique. Houston and the surrounding communities persevered and came together. Every day, ordinary Texans became heroes.

Texans pride themselves on being self-reliant. This is why we voted to pass a $2.5 billion bond to invest in flood mitigation projects. When we turned to the federal government and asked for help, it was because we truly needed it.

Perhaps most important, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Office of Management and Budget need to release the congressionally appropriated $4 billion that our community desperately needs. Much of the Texas delegation in D.C. is laser-focused on getting these funds into Texas. We’ve written letters, put forth legislation, and are in contact with both agencies regularly.

A bipartisan piece of legislation cosponsored by members of the Houston region and the surrounding areas would release these funds within 60 days. A similar provision, mandating the release of funds within 90 days, was included in the $19.1 billion disaster relief package. That package passed the House Monday night and will be signed into law by the president.

Hurricane Harvey tested our community in the most extreme circumstances. But unsurprisingly, Houstonians rose to the challenge during the worst of times. We saw the best in one another and learned valuable lessons.

Now, as we begin 2019’s hurricane season, it is time to take what we’ve learned and act on it. We need to make tangible changes that will protect our families, our neighbors, and our communities before another catastrophic weather event tests us again.