As I write this, some Houston homes are still flooded following Hurricane Harvey, and sheltered evacuees are seeking longer-term housing.
And yet is also a time to be proud of Houston. In terms of rainfall, we took the biggest punch that nature has delivered to any U.S. city, and we are still standing. In fact, Houston is already “open for business.”
After seeing the product of all the hard rescue and recovery work by first responders and other city employees, after seeing neighbors helping neighbors in every neighborhood, after leaning on the support we have received from across the country and around the word, I am confident that Houston will bounce back with startling speed.
Houston has been innovative before. Houston has built unique public projects before, such as the Ship Channel and the Astrodome. Houston has been a leader before in science and technology in places such as the Texas Medical Center.
So my confidence in the next Houston comeback isn’t just based on our great charitable spirit of cooperation. It’s also based on our civic history, our mutual experience.
Not that a full recovery will always be easy. We need homeowners and commuters to be patient. We need state and federal government agencies to drop the red tape and find new, flexible ways to provide us with the funding we need to get individuals back on the feet, to repair infrastructure, to develop housing for the displaced.
We also need the Federal Emergency Management Agency to put in its best performance as it carries out its mission to aid areas of the country that are wounded by natural disasters. I suggested to President Trump when he was here a few days ago that the federal government carve out funding to help the hundreds of Houston first responders whose homes were flooded and who lacked flood insurance. He literally gave me the thumbs up on that idea.
Overall, every Houstonian can hold their heads high as we move forward to a future that is stronger than ever.