Houston Mayor pledges life saving barriers on chronically flood prone streets

Houston Mayor John Whitmire lamented the loss of life at a low-lying, chronically flooding thoroughfare and issued a call for long-overdue action.

"One of the toughest things I've witnessed as an adult was watching HPD retrieve the body of one of their civil employees. We need railroad like crossings at Allen Parkway and Waugh, Shepherd and Memorial, Houston Avenue. I'm certain you can list others. There are 49 we want to identify. We have got to protect citizens during these flooding circumstances," said Whitmire.

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On Monday, after floodwater engulfed Highway 288 at IH-610 trapping motorists, Congressman Al Green made the same call for barriers. 

"There must be a way to prevent this from occurring. We spent too much money on this very area to see this occurring now. At least, we should have some kind of gates to come down to keep people from coming into this area when this becomes an inundation," said Green. 

The Mayor contends once emergency crossguards are in place, people won't be tempted to drive into chronically flooding low-spots.

Neither the danger nor the solution are new, which triggered from the Mayor an uncomfortable question regarding the $600 million federal dollars funneled to the City during the pandemic.

"What in the world were people thinking about how they were using the ARP (American Rescue Plan) money?"

Whitmire also expressed outrage that ten fire stations and a dozen multi-service centers were left without emergency generators,

"During a crisis, our challenges are exposed. Somebody has been negligent in taking care of city services and proper use of resources," said Whitmire.