Bellaire mayor: Flood task force needs your input tonight

By Mayor Andrew Friedberg

The Task Force has been hard at work reviewing and updating the City’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan, both to develop meaningful, actionable solutions to our flooding problem and to satisfy the requirements for our continued participation in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. The plan starts with a comprehensive risk assessment to identify and define flood hazards—local, regulatory and regional—and then proposes mitigation strategies to address those hazards, all leading to a tangible action plan. These steps are outlined in the form of a matrix, which is the Task Force’s principal working draft.

As the Task Force talks through a variety of perspectives on the path to consensus, the matrix is updated to reflect the key points. The meetings are somewhat unstructured, deliberately, to allow the members to see where the discussion leads them. They’ve made great progress, and are now ready for a formal public hearing. Residents are encouraged to come share their thoughts and ideas for flood prevention generally, and to comment specifically on the current draft of the matrix. The Task Force will consider and incorporate public input as it continues to refine its recommendations.

Those wishing to learn more in preparation for the public hearing can view the matrix and other Task Force materials in the electronic notebook on the city website. It includes all reports that have been presented to the Task Force, video recordings and notes of each meeting, and links to other relevant information.

Public participation in flood hazard mitigation planning is always important, but it goes without saying that the widespread impact of Hurricane Harvey on Bellaire has only heightened the need for it. The Task Force and its work product will benefit from as much public input as possible.

Please make plans to attend the public hearing and let your voice be heard tonight (Monday, Jan. 29) at 6:30 in the Council Chamber (7008 S. Rice Ave.)

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