Harvey historic to Trump, but scientists see new norm

Syndeste and Beyond Floods were featured in E&E News providing input on Hurricane Harvey’s characteristics and areas it impacted. Here are some Quotes:

“In fact, the Harvey fallout isn’t even the first 500-year flood Houston has endured in recent memory, said Mohan Rajasekar, founder and CEO of InsurTech startup Syndeste, a firm that maps floodplain and flood risks through its “Beyond Floods” app. He said the nation’s fourth largest city has endured three storms since 2000 that exceeded the 500-year flood flows.”

“While the Trump administration noted local and state governments are free to impose their own standards, Texas is an example of when states are left to their worst devices.

The Lone Star State has notoriously lax zoning laws, permitting construction in potentially unsafe places. About 71 percent of properties at very high risk of flooding in the 30 counties for which Texas Gov. Abbott declared an emergency are uninsured, according to [the post by] Beyond Floods.

Even more, the federal government has subsidized home construction in vulnerable flood zones by offering cut-rate flood insurance that private firms avoid. The 30 affected counties in Texas have filed 186,500 claims through the National Flood Insurance Program since its inception at a cost of $5 billion to the program, Beyond Floods said.”