Hurricane Harvey survivors demand better investment, heeding drainage problems in northeast Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Residents of northeast Houston are demanding more money and care to address drainage problems in Black and brown communities.

Northeast Action, or NAC, gathered on the steps of city hall Tuesday afternoon to protest better drainage in northeast Houston. They are asking the city of Houston to change the way they fund drainage and maintenance problems in low-income Black and brown communities.

Community members say they are tired of dealing with drainage problems in their neighborhood, especially in BIPOC communities where blacks, browns and people of color native color live.

One protester said: “Sometimes I can’t leave the house because the roads are impassable. Neighbors children have to wade through stagnant water to get to school.

Hurricane Harvey survivors have formed the Northeast Action Collective (BAC) to support each other during the years-long recovery and prepare for future storms.

They said they have watched for years as communities with BIPOC have neglected to address drainage problems and invest in solutions to fix the problems.

“We’ve been tricked and run in circles. We’ve been hearing fairy tales about projects that are coming soon. Fair funding and a way to get involved is a dead end,” said one man. he at the rally said.

Some northeast Houston residents said they were still living in homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They said they received most of the funding to repair and maintain the system. drainage in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods for the wealthier and predominantly white populations. neighboring areas.

“Over the years, the drainage got worse, it got worse,” said Doris Brown, who has lived in northeast Houston for more than 50 years. “We started flooding. The streets were ripped open. We couldn’t call (anyone) to come fix it and in the end the neighborhood went, like the neighborhood did when you didn’t give the money back. for residents or neighbours.”

Veronica Medina said she survived Hurricane Harvey but is scared when it rains because her home remains flooded, even in moderate rain, due to insufficient drainage in her zip code.

She said the city of Houston and Harris County did not help her.

One man who said at Tuesday’s protest said that residents in District B were tricked and run in circles, “We’ve been told fairy tales about projects coming out soon.

The NAC is asking for equal flood protection as part of their fair housing right, and they are asking the City of Houston to show that they are committed to addressing these issues.

They are asking the city of Houston:

1) Raise money to fund drainage problems in BIPOC communities.

2) Maintenance and repair of ditches and other drainage infrastructure.

3) Make the 311 system more transparent and more accessible to people with disabilities and non-English speakers

4) Create a focal point for residents to call for drainage problems in northeast Houston.

ABC13 has reached out to Councilmember Tarsha Jackson, who represents District B in northeast Houston. She did not respond to our request for comment on Tuesday’s protest at City Hall, but Brown said Jackson is trying.

“She comes to our meetings. We’re starting to take a step forward, but we’re not there yet. We need to act now,” she said.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Hurricane Harvey survivors demand better investment, heeding drainage problems in northeast Houston

Dais Johnston

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