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Officials patched and prayed while pressure built on Houston’s dams

A freak March storm dumped 10 inches of rain on Houston in just six hours, causing widespread flooding. The vast reservoirs behind Addicks and Barker dams, already swollen from earlier downpours, filled with fresh runoff.  The earthen dams had been Houston’s main defense against catastrophic floods since the 1940s. Never before had they held back so much water. The year …

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Harris County OKs stricter development rules aimed at reducing flooding

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved new, tougher regulations for flood-plain development Tuesday, including a requirement that some new homes use pier-and-beam construction and that they be built to withstand high winds. The new rules come more than three months after Harvey covered much of the county in record-breaking rainfall, in some areas more than 51 inches over the course …

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When the water is rising, Marty O’Brien is the man you want to see

Despite assistance from hundreds of police officers from throughout the state as well as thousands of volunteers, most agencies still had to deploy officers around the clock. Many worked all day and night to rescue those stranded by waters that rose, then moved, across the county over the course of days. Among those assisting was Harris County Sheriff’s Office Maj. …

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Houston Food Bank mounts epic Hurricane Harvey response

Today, the food bank is operating at triple its normal distribution, providing 750,000 pounds of supplies a day – the equivalent of 18 tractor-trailers. “We are in long-term recovery mode,” said Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Houston Food Bank. “For several months, or up to a year, we’ll be in this extra mode.” The food bank does not …

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Virtuosi of Houston nurtures young musicians

In addition to its major concerts, the organization sends ensembles outto perform in hospitals and senior care facilities The shopping mall can be one of the most dreaded places to visit during the holiday season as shoppers race about in every direction, weaving between kiosks and through a plethora of crowded stores. Memorial City Mall, however, has a calming room …

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Dockless bike sharing proposal an uphill climb

Houston leaders aren’t ready to hop on board putting bikes across the sprawling, often sidewalk-slim city, as the area appears to be one of the next battlegrounds – again — in the so-called gig-economy. Staff of the city’s administration and regulatory affairs department have a proposed pilot program to allow all interested vendors to start deploying bicycles in Houston. The …

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Uptick in hazmat spills add to freeway woes

An 18-wheeler carrying sulfuric acid crashed Tuesday on Interstate 10, shutting down westbound lanes of the highway for hours. The truck had to be offloaded because its load had shifted in the wreck. An acid spill along westbound Interstate 10 added to commuting woes Tuesday, leaving early afternoon travelers scrambling for detours and emergency officials to clean up yet another …

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Houston proposes Metro site for ‘low-barrier’ homeless shelter

Some of Houston’s homeless are poised to move north of Buffalo Bayou, to a plot about the size of a small residential lot carved from a Metro bus depot, under a plan officials confirmed Monday is aimed at alleviating concerns about camps beneath downtown freeways. City officials and outreach advocates said the goal was a productive step forward in efforts …

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Houston could add 70,000 jobs next year, forecast says

The Houston economy, shaking off the oil bust and rebounding from Hurricane Harvey, could create as many 70,000 jobs next year and return to a normal pace of employment growth after the worst energy downturn in decades. The city’s fortunes will depend on whether drilling rigs can keep working in Texas oil fields well into 2018, providing sales and orders …

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If oil stagnates, U.S. growth and global trade will prop up Houston’s economy in 2018

Bustling global trade and a strong national economy should offset weakness in the energy sector, allowing Houston area to add more jobs next year, although at a subpar rate, according to an economic forecast released Friday. Companies that sell plastics, resins, lubricants and engineering services to national and international markets should benefit from solid growth expected for the U.S. and …

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