Several counties in Houston, Texas remain under a state of emergency and rescue efforts continue as residents scramble to escape rising floodwaters.
Some areas in Houston were pounded with over seventeen inches of rain in just twenty-four hours, which is more rain than Salt Lake City gets in an entire year.
So far, the flooding has caused several deaths, resulted in over 1,200 high water rescues, 1,000 homes were flooded, and there have been $5 billion in damages. Unfortunately, meteorologists predict more rain on Wednesday.
Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis spoke with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now about the conditions on the ground and the latest developments in the deadly historic Houston flooding.
Sen. Ellis explained though Houston has experienced flooding before, the impact of the floodwaters make life “most difficult for people who have the least, who don’t have access to transportation and it’s very difficult for them to get out.”
Senator Ellis told Martin the North Side, not far from Acres Homes and the Meyerland area, were impacted the most by flood waters. “The most damage would be in that area by Greenspoint Mall.”
When asked what relief is available for Houston residents who don’t have the resources to rebuild homes, Ellis said, “We’re putting that together,” He added, “FEMA will come in, there will be some federal support, there’ll be some state support, there’ll be some local support — a lot of volunteers. At the end of the day, clearly there won’t be enough.”
Despite the impact of the historic floods, Sen. Ellis believes “things are going back to normal,” and said the real challenge Houston is facing is what will happen when the rain comes back as meteorologists predict on Wednesday.
Ellis said, “Houston is at sea-level, some points slightly below sea level; there are not a lot of hills in the area, we are flat. We’ve had a tremendous amount of development — it’s going to be a challenge” to deal with the flood damage.
Once the flooding has ended and residents are back on their feet, Ellis said, “We got to have a serious conversation about what can be done” about how much “impervious cover” people can bring into the city “without having enough retention and retention ponds.”
Watch Roland Martin and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis discuss the historic flooding in Houston in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
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