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One year after Harvey, construction in Houston floodplain prompts new concerns

Is Houston prepared for future floods?
One year after Harvey, is Houston better prepared for flooding? 03:17

Hurricane Harvey pummeled east Texas for days, inundating Houston and leaving $125 billion of damage in its wake. Now, one year after the storm submerged large parts of Houston, construction in a floodplain is causing new concerns.

Nine hundred homes are being built on an old golf course located in the floodplain, reports CBS News' Omar Villafranca. The grass and ponds soaked up Harvey's floodwaters and kept the water from spilling into the surrounding area. With new concrete going over the old course, the water won't soak into the ground. 

But the water has to go somewhere.

Pat Bradley, who lives across the street from the new construction, said she's worried about waking up in the middle of the night into a foot or two of water. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said those fears are unwarranted.

Health risks from flooding may linger a year after Hurricane Harvey 06:01

"Because you still want people to live in your city, you want people to come to your city. ... You want the city to continue to develop, is that you engage in mitigation efforts that will mitigate the risk of flooding," Turner said.

Houston architect Brett Zamore, who designs homes in flood-prone areas, said new houses should be built higher off the ground.

"It allows for water to move through without damaging the structure of the house," Zamore said. "And then once the water moves through the underside of the house after it floods, it just dries out."

A year after Harvey, work crews are still fixing roads and sidewalks and rebuilding houses. Some areas experienced more than two feet of water, forcing a number of residents to demolish their homes altogether.  

Houston city leaders hope that by requiring newer homes to be higher off the ground it will lead to a lower chance of residential flooding in the bayou city.  

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