Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia has been planning for a busy hurricane season, and possible street flooding, he recently reported in an interview on a local news blog. Garcia told Michael Palmer of NNB that his precinct prepares every day of the year, not just hurricane season, for responses to natural disasters, man-made accidents, and even a pandemic. He noted that last year the county saw a series of natural disasters that they responded to. These included the ITC fire, the KMCO explosion, a lightning strike at a refinery, a barge accident under I10 and another in the ship channel, and the flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. Garcia noted his own experience with disasters includes hurricanes such as Alycia, Katrina, and Ike.
“And so I understand these events,” he said. “We have good coordination with our area mayors, and work closely with all of the entities necessary when it comes to a disaster of any sort.”
Garcia also spoke about flooding from storms, and areas in his Precinct that have been inundated.
“Precinct 2 is a Downstream Side of many surrounding counties, and we get 70% of everyone else’s water. I supported the $2.5 Billion flood bond election, but I want to make sure that we’re using the money wisely.”
The commissioner said that he works closely with the Harris County Flood Control District, to insure that new projects don’t add to the flood problem. He said an important step the county took was to adopt the Atlas 14, an environmental regulation to control development and retention. Garcia said one of the most important projects he has undertaken is ditch maintenance. He said his office has increased the linear feet of ditch maintenance and outfall grading almost 3 times what it has been in the past.
“Effective local drainage is by far the single most significant way to protect our neighborhoods from flooding.” Garcia said that during the lockdown mandated by the county, his public works staff has continued to work when possible, to send a message that the community will survive the pandemic and come out better in the future.
He said that his precinct has bought new excavators for ditch work with the latest technology, to replace the older machines, so that he can continue the high pace of maintenance and preparation for all disasters in the county