Harvey and Irma's Lasting Lesson America Needs Stronger Flood Policies
Superlatives can only begin to capture the severity of this hurricane season. Hurricane Irma churned for days as one the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It drenched states in the Southeast after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and Florida.
This latest catastrophe comes only two weeks after Hurricane Harvey redefined flooding disasters in the United States. In the course of six days, the hurricane-turned-tropical storm made landfall three times, unleashing more than 9 trillion gallons of water and dumping more than an average year’s worth of rainfall in some places — leaving underwater as much as 30 percent of Harris County, home to Houston, our nation’s fourth largest city, and some 4.5 million people.
The storm left at least 70 people dead and thousands homeless, and caused billions of dollars in damages across a huge swath of southeastern Texas. Recovery will take years.
This piece was originally published in The Hill on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.