HOUSTON- Mayor Sylvester Turner presents the following updates on the city’s removal of storm debris from homes and other buildings in the city:
LANDFILLS WILL OPERATE AROUND THE CLOCK, FREEING UP MORE TIME FOR DEBRIS COLLECTION
At the mayor’s request, Gov. Greg Abbott has arranged for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to allow Houston’s landfills to operate 24 hours a day to accept flood debris.
The change will allow debris collection trucks to deposit debris at temporary sites during the day and then transfer it to landfills at night. That means the trucks will be able to spend more daytime hours collecting debris in neighborhoods.
More than 300 trucks operated by the city, contractors and crews from other Texas cities are picking up debris across Houston and the number of trucks continues to grow. The collection of more than 8 million cubic yards of debris is expected to cost more than $250 million dollars, with 90 percent of the cost covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT DEBRIS REMOVAL NEEDS THROUGH THE 311 PHONE APP OR PHONE CALLS TO 311
To assist with debris collection efforts, the City asks that citizens report storm debris collection needs to 311. The City DOES NOT use 311 call volume to prioritize storm debris removal. Residents should only make one report per address multiple reports to 311 WILL NOT be accepted and will not speed or prioritize debris collection.
The reports will help better target collection efforts and provide documentation for FEMA to provide funds to the city.
How to Report to 311 – USE the 311 APP or website for faster service
To avoid long wait times, residents are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to use the Houston 311 mobile app (iTunes / Google Play Store) or click on the Report Harvey Debris button on the City of Houston’s website or the 311 website. 311’s call center is experiencing higher than average call wait times – up to 9 minutes at peak times. Using the app and website will reduce call wait times and make it easier for Houstonians who do not have easy access to a smart phone or a computer to report collection needs by telephone.
- HOUSTON 311 APP: IPhone and Android users can download the app from iTunesor the Google Play Store. Click on the Harvey Debris icon.
- Houston 311 website: houstontx.gov/311click on Report Harvey Debris
- City of Houston website: houstontx.govclick on Report Harvey Debris
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED DEBRIS QUESTIONS
When will the debris at my home be collected?
Collections are taking places throughout the city, which is working to provide as much information as possible about scheduling for each area. Information about the schedule for each address or block is not available throughout the city at this point. The city recognizes the need to collect all debris as soon as possible following the record-high amount of rainfall produced by Hurricane Harvey.
Why wasn’t ALL my debris collected when trucks came through my area?
Some residents may have more debris than can be collected in one truckload. Additional collection trips may be necessary. Once the first pass is made, any remaining or additional debris must be moved to the curb to be collected by the city in subsequent trips. Check Solid Waste Management’s website www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste for debris collection updates.
Why can’t the city pick up debris in my yard or driveway?
City collection vehicles can only reach debris if it is within 10-15 feet from the curb. Seehttp://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/CurbsideDebrisPDF.pdf for more instructions.
Unusually High Water Bills?
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) than 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.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Contact Customer Account Services at 713-371-1400
Eligible accounts will be placed on hold. Penalties will not accrue and accounts will not be disconnected.
Getting Repair Permits from the Houston Permitting Center
Consumers should be on alert for potential scams. For any repair work, it is recommended to get three bids and review each bid carefully.
LICENSED VS. UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS
General contractors are not required to be licensed. Check with the Better Business Bureau or other similar sites for reported scams and complaints.
Electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors must be registered with the City of Houston and licensed by the State of Texas. Out of state licenses are not accepted except for those under the State of Texas’ reciprocity agreement.
Visit the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to verify licenses or to view complaints against Master Electricians and HVAC technicians and/or Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners to verify licenses or to view complaints against Master Plumbers.
Electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors making repairs must purchase a permit. Visit the Sold Permit Search to check if a permit has been purchased.
All electrical work must be completed by a licensed electrician.
Permits are NOT required for:
- Replacing wooden or metal fences (less than 8 feet in height)
- Painting, papering, tiling, wood flooring and carpeting
- Replacing cabinets, countertops and similar finish work
- Repairing damaged sheet-rock or drywall (except when part of a shared wall in a townhome/condo)
- Replacing bathroom or kitchen faucets
- FLOODPLAIN PROPERTIES
Property located within the floodplain (i.e. Special Hazard Area,100-year floodplain or floodway) may require a Floodplain Development Permit. Contact the Floodplain Management Office prior to starting any repairs at email@example.com or 832-394-8854.
EXTENDED HOURS | Mon. – Fri., 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- Main Office*, 1002 Washington Ave., 77002
- Kingwood Office,3915 Rustic Woods Dr., 77339
- Clear Lake Office,1335 Regents Park #130, 77058 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
- Northwest Office,10555 Northwest Freeway #148, 77092
*All other services will be available during regular business hours.
- Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr., 77074
- Kashmere Multi-Service Center, 4802 Lockwood Dr., 77026 (Only Mon.-Tue.)
- Sagemont Church Annex, 11600 Hughes Rd., 77089 (Opens Oct. 9)
- Street & Drainage Maintenance Office, 5500 N. McCarty St., 77013(Only Fri., Opens Oct. 6)
- The Shops at Memorial City, 825 Crosswood Dr., 77024 (Only Wed.-Thu.)
**For flood repair permits ONLY.
Additional satellite locations will be announced soon!
Gov. Abbott to Mayor Turner:
Houston has enough funding for Harvey recovery
Turner said without significant state help, Houston will be forced to raise property taxes for one year to bring in $50 million for recovery efforts, which would cost the owner of an average Houston house $48. The mayor also said he would not have proposed the tax hike had the governor called a special session to tap into the fund.
Damages from Harvey have exceeded Houston’s $100 million flood insurance limit, according to Turner’s letter to Abbott, and now the city is going without flood insurance in the middle of hurricane season. Turner’s letter said financing from the Rainy Day Fund would have been able to cover the estimated $10 million cost of extending the city’s $100 million flood insurance policy until April 1, 2018.
Abbott, who has said the state has enough resources to address Harvey-related needs between now and the next legislative session, added that the state has already granted Houston almost $100 million for debris removal and established an “accelerated reimbursement program” for recovery efforts. Abbott said he would pay any invoice the city submits to the state within 10 days.
Turner “has all the money that he needs,” Abbott said. “He just needs to tap into it,” referring to money in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones.
Harvey Recovery Fair, Saturday, October 7, 9am-
Public Invited to Harvey Recovery Fair
Houston – The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management invites residents affected by Hurricane Harvey to a recovery fair at the Harris County Precinct 2 North East Community Center.
WHAT: Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fair
WHEN: Saturday, October 7, 2017; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE- North East Community Center (at James Driver Park)
10918 ½ Bentley
Houston, TX 77093
The Harvey Recovery Fair will provide important recovery information about available disaster assistance from both governmental and non-profit organizations. Representatives from Harris County, the City of Houston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other volunteer agencies will be available to answer questions and help residents apply for disaster assistance.
Additional recovery fairs will be held in the coming weeks to assist residents that live in other areas of Harris County.