It was a light voter turnout this election season, but not light enough to keep those with memories of Hurricane Harvey from approving a $2.5 billion flood-control bond on the one-year anniversary of the horrific storm.
With just 38 percent of the precincts reporting totals by 9 p.m., supporters of the flood control bond declared victory Aug. 25. The Election Day voting totals heavily favored bond passage with 87 percent voting in favor of the bond, and those totals aligned with early voting totals.
There were less than 100,000 ballots cast in the early voting period, but a vast majority of those voters favored the bond, with approximately 86 percent of voting residents casting ballots in favor of the bond and just 14 percent against, according to the Harris County Clerk’s Office.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Harris County Flood Executive Director Russ Poppe unveiled the bond proposal during a May 30 news conference and announced tours and public hearings in each of the 23 watersheds in Harris County. Those hearings were designed to inform residents and solicit ideas on flood mitigation.
The public meetings continued through most of the summer and wrapped up Aug. 1, a week before the start of early voting. The county presented a comprehensive list of projects to residents that included: home buyouts in flood-prone areas; improvements to the flood warning system; channel improvements and repairs; and creation of green space and detention basins throughout the entire county.
The bond received widespread approval from officials with the City of Houston and Harris County. On Aug. 23, law enforcement leaders in Harris County joined Emmett at the flood control district to show their support for the bond.
Officials said infrastructure improvements made through this bond will take 10-15 years to implement.
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