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Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Trump Can Say Whatever He Likes: He’s Made Rebuilding a Safe Houston Much, Much Harder – Mother Jones







"Harvey’s toll is already immense. Thousands are still stranded, and the death toll is 39. Many Houston streets are lakes or raging rivers, and flooded hospitals have had to evacuate. There’s no clean water in some areas, and a chemical explosion about 20 miles from the city has forced even more evacuations. The full extent of the damage won’t be known for weeks, but President Trump has still assured the victims that Congress will move quickly to provide relief.



“Believe me, we will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before,” he said from the White House on Monday. “The rebuilding will begin and in the end it will be something very special.”



But Trump has already undermined the likelihood that Houston will be able to rebuild stronger and smarter than before. Days before Harvey pummeled Texas and Louisiana, Trump signed away the requirement that future building must comply with tougher flood standards that were set by President Obama. That means future building and rebuilding after disasters will be more prone to destruction—not just for unprecedented events like Harvey, but for the everyday kind of inundation that climate change is making more common.



A single sentence tucked into Trump’s executive order on August 15 reversed President Obama’s executive order from 2015, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.” Obama’s order raised elevation standards for new federally funded projects to better withstand flooding, but now, federal dollars for repairing Harvey’s damage will require building standards that disaster-risk experts consider too lenient.



“We’re talking about the ability of people getting rescued. That is the biggest shame of not taking this sort of risk seriously in our infrastructure.”



Trump Can Say Whatever He Likes: He’s Made Rebuilding a Safe Houston Much, Much Harder – Mother Jones

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