Monthly Newsletter
October 2, 2017  Issue 57
Residents of District E,
 
As cooler and hopefully drier weather moves into Texas we welcome lower temperatures and the opportunity to meet with our neighbors in celebration of National Night Out. National Night Out is an annual community event that is about building relationships within our neighbors and strengthening partnerships with our first responders to create a safer neighborhood, taking place tomorrow night Tuesday, October 3.
 
National Night Out is celebrated differently by the communities in District E, some choose to host block parties and others enjoy gathering at the local community center or pool. This great event is held in 38 million neighborhoods by more than 16,000 communities and has happened annually for 34 years. Each October my staff works diligently to prepare for National Night Out events and this year is no different.
 
There are over 40 events taking place in District E alone, and we plan on stopping by as many of these events that we can. I hope that we will see you as these are a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and local law enforcement that patrol your community. Not sure if your community is hosting an event? Please contact my office and they would be happy to double check.
 
This National Night Out, I ask each District E resident to check in on how you and your neighbors are doing emotionally. At our recent District E information sessions, that more than 700 of you all participated in, the Houston Health Department reminded everyone that we have just been through a tragedy. We may not all have storm debris to show our scars that Hurricane Harvey has left on our hearts but it is important to take time to assess how you're doing and watch those close to you for signs of emotional trauma like trouble concentrating, difficulty making decisions, recurring dreams/nightmares, and sleeplessness. The Houston Health Department and Texas Department of State Health Services have prepared resources available online to assist with these conversations as well as provide resources for assisting children with coping through this incident. As with any health concern it is important to seek the advice of a licensed medical professional.
 
I would like to take a moment to thank the San Antonio Solid Waste Department for working seven days a week, fourteen hours a day, for the last four weeks to assist Kingwood residents with debris removal. It truly was a blessing to have them in our community and I know they have many stories to share with their families about the amazing people that they encountered throughout cleanup. My office has received many notes and pictures from those that San Antonio has helped and we've passed them along to their command center to make sure they know how much they were appreciated.
 
As we continue to r ecover, my office will continue to provide information as quickly as it comes in especially in regards to any new information resuming of services like recycling, heavy trash, and tree debris. At this time, these activities continue to be suspended as all Solid Waste Management Department personnel and equipment are currently being diverted to assist those on the West side of town begin their recovery process. The District E office continues to monitor debris removal from all parts of District E and encourages you make sure that any debris that you have is reported to Houston 3-1-1 (713-837-0311) and to our office. We are well on our way to recovery and together we will get through this and grow in strength from this terrible incident. My thoughts and prayers go out to all District E residents as we all work to put our City back together again.

Sincerely,

Dave Martin
The District E Office
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston, TX 77002
 
Contact Information
  Phone: (832) 393-3008
Fax: (832) 393-3279
 
District E Team

Jessica Beemer
Chief of Staff & North
Sector Manager

Jordan McGinty
South Sector Manager

Katherine Cunningham
Administrative Assistant

City of Houston Contacts
 
City of Houston 3-1-1
(713) 837-0311
 
 
Mayor's Citizens
Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955
 
Kingwood Community Center
(281) 348-2570
 
  Community Contacts
 
   Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

 South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce
 
 
 
 
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council
 
   
  
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Harris County Flood Control District Voluntary Home Buyout Program
 
Voluntary home buyout is used by the Flood Control District to reduce flood damages in areas hopelessly deep in the floodplain where structural projects (i.e. channel modifications or detention basins) to reduce flooding are not cost effective and/or beneficial. 
 
DISTRICT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
For a property to meet the District's eligibility requirements, it must be beneficial to the District's mission.  To that end, the District will consider the following factors in its evaluation of the property:
  1. Source of flooding. The District's jurisdiction includes Harris County bayous, creeks and smaller waterways that feed into the bayou system (riverine flooding).  Flooding from roadside ditches, ponding, and overland sheet flow typically fall outside of the District's jurisdiction. 
  2. Location and depth within the floodplain. The property must be located deep within a mapped floodplain and subject to repetitive flooding.  As such, structures located closest to bayous and creeks are typically ideal. 
  3. Cost effectiveness as a solution to the property's flooding problem. In shallow floodplains other types of flood reduction projects, such as detention basins or channel modifications may be more beneficial.  Buyouts are ideal for structures hopelessly deep in the floodplain.
  4. Potential for future floodplain preservation and/or flood damage reduction projects. The property must be strategically located for potential or future flood damage reduction projects and/or floodplain preservation.
  5. Compatibility with community and natural values. Community support for buyout is important.  Alternatives may need to be considered if the community is opposed.
 
If a resident meets these general criteria and would like to submit a voluntary notice of interest go to  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hcfcdvoluntaryhomebuyoutprogram
 
Completing this notice of interest will not obligate residents to a buyout, but it will ensure they are included in the notification when more information on home buyouts become available. 
 
More information about the buyout program can be found here
Harvey By the Numbers App

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the launch of the "Harvey By The Numbers" web site that shows where trucks are picking up storm debris, where flood damage was the worst, how many hours volunteers are spending on the recovery from Hurricane Harvey and other information that will be updated periodically if not daily.

"This our latest effort to keep the public informed about what the city has done, is doing and will do as Houston bounces back," the mayor said. "We are all in this together."

The web site is at https://houstonrecovers.org/numbers

Other new features include "heat maps" of where flood damage to homes was concentrated, how much debris has been picked up and moved to landfills, and more.

Another map will show where debris pickup trucks are operating and how many are working in each zone.

Interactive features include an address search in the zones and a convenient way to report the need for debris pickup at a specific address. The address data is used to concentrate pickup activity as well as to document expenses for which the federal government will reimburse the city.

The Harvey by the Numbers site will continue to be updated and improved as more data becomes available. The maps and visualizations were created in partnership between city departments and Jeff Reichman, founder of Sketch City, a non-profit civic technology organization. For additional information, please contact Jesse Bounds, director of the Mayor's Office of Innovation.

Harvey By The Numbers is an addition to houstonrecovers.org, which has been in operation since the floods and includes information how to register for assistance, how to volunteer, how to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, how to learn about home repairs; how to deal with unusually high water bills; how to apply for disaster loans and much more.

Also included is a way to sign-up to receive updates by e-mail.

The information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, French and American Sign Language.
Lake Houston Area Relief Fund Grants

The Lake Houston Area Chamber partnered with Insperity, HAAM, an Somebody Cares Humble to create the Lake Houston Area Relief Fund to give back to the community. If your home or business flooded because of Hurricane Harvey, click here to apply for a grant. 
House Committee on Natural Resources Hearing

On Wednesday, October 4 th at 10:00 a.m. the Natural Resources Committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston TX 77010 - Room 371) for a public hearing. The interim charge is to:
 
"Examine the following issues within the committee's jurisdiction regarding Harvey and flooding in general: the role of regional entities in developing projects to control flooding, both through new infrastructure and enhancing existing infrastructure; mitigation efforts that would reduce the impact of future flood events, and strategies to fund those efforts; and the response of public entities that own or operate dams to large-scale rain events, including how such entities make decisions regarding dam and reservoir operations during such events, coordinate with state and local emergency management officials, and communicate with the public."

Public testimony will be limited to 3 minutes. For more information click here
CANCELLED: Kingwood B.O.P.A. Event

Kingwood residents, please note that the Solid Waste Department has cancelled the October 28th B.O.P.A. Recycling event. 

Council Member Martin urged the Solid Waste Department to reconsider this decision, however the department is focused solely on debris removal following Harvey. As soon as the event is rescheduled the District E office will alert residents. 

Again, this decision was made by the Solid Waste Department, and any questions and concerns can be sent directly to them by emailing swdworks@houstontx.gov
Repair Permits

As Houston homeowners rebuild, it's important to ensure that you have the proper permits to move forward. The Houston Permitting Center is making this easier by opening satellite permitting centers throughout the City and has extended hours.  

District E has two satellite permitting  centers that are open  Mon. - Fri., 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Kingwood Office - 3915 Rustic Woods Dr., 77339
  • Clear Lake Office - 1335 Regents Park #130, 77058 
For more information visit houstonrecovers.org/repairtips
Unusually High Water Bills Following Harvey

The City of Houston and Houston Public Works take seriously the fact that some properties affected by flooding have received unusually high water bills. There are approximately 5,000 customer accounts that have water bills that are twice as much (or more) as the previous billing cycle.

The mayor is working with City Council and Houston Public Works to better understand how this happened and how to correct it. For updates, and steps you can take if you have experienced a high water bill related to Harvey, visit houstonrecovers.org/highbills
Governor Abbott and Mayor Turner Announce Funding for Houston

On Friday, September 29, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Governor Greg Abbott held a news conference at Houston City Hall to announce that the State of Texas will provide $50 million to the City of Houston to offset the cost associated with Houston's response to Harvey. This additional funding will mean that Houston will not need to raise property taxes slightly to cover the cost of response. Watch the press conference online at twitter.com/houstontx.
Lake Houston Area Back to Business Campaign

According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses don't reopen after a disaster. To ensure that doesn't happen in the Lake Houston area, the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce has launched the Lake Houston Area Back To Business Campaign. 

The Chamber's campaign aims to assist businesses in their recovery process, and publicize their re-opening. Chamber staff will be reaching out to affected businesses monthly and providing resources and assistance as they work to reopen. Once opened, the Chamber will take a photo of the business with a #LHABack2Biz sign and then publish and share the picture with our media partners.

How you can help:
  • Report any business that closed due to the flood (we have a long list already, but realize we may be missing some)
  • Report any businesses planning to re-open or recently re-opened
  • Follow the #LHABack2Biz Instagram account
  • Become a Social Ambassador - Share back to business pictures on YOUR social media using #LHABack2Biz
  • Support local businesses - shop local - keep your dollars in the Lake Houston Area.
  • Pick up a Back To Business poster to display in your office window
Click here for a calendar listing upcoming openings, pictures of re-opened businesses, resources and more.

Red Cross Assistance

Through the generosity of donors, the American Red Cross is providing emergency assistance in the amount of $400 to qualified households directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Assistance will be issued per household. 

Go to  https://harveyhelp.redcross.org/index.html to apply. Registration for this program will be open through Tuesday, October 10, 2017.