All the Hot Takes on Hurricane Harvey

Eleven days ago the eye of Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Rockport Texas, and just a week ago, the rains stopped in the Houston region, while the then Tropical Storm Harvey kept going, devastating Beaumont and East Texas while heading into Louisiana.

A flotilla of fire ants could survive for weeks on the buoyancy of Hot Takes on Hurricane Harvey that we’ve already seen. In the interest of providing a meta analysis of the Hot Takes, we thought we should compile this central list. Please feel free to add more in the comments and we will update as we go.

[This post was updated on September 10 to add all the new hot takes we could find, but first, please read and watch these love letters from the great City of New Orleans and the good people at Day for Night]

Pro-Zoning or Anti-Sprawl or Pro-Planning or Anti-Paving Over Wetlands

New York Times
How Houston’s Growth Created the Perfect Flood Conditions

Houston’s Urban Sprawl Meant Harvey Was A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Paul Krugman in Houston Chronicle
Bad policy fueled the catastrophe of Harvey

Eric Berger in Houston Chronicle
Five days of hellish rainfall must be a wake-up call to stop business as usual

The Atlantic
To Soften a Hurricane’s Blow, Don’t Drain the Swamp

Henry Grabar in Slate
Houston Wasn’t Built for a Storm Like This

Steve Russell in Newsweek
Houston is drowning – in its freedom from regulations

Anti-Zoning or Pro-Libertarian or Pro-Business

Leo Linbeck III in the Houston Chronicle
Hurricane Harvey was not a catastrophe

Houston Isn’t Flooded Because of its Land Use Planning

Charles Marohn in National Review
Piling on Houston: Land Use Policies Not to Blame for Flooding

The Federalist
Stop Blaming Houston’s Libertarian Zoning For Hurricane Harvey’s Destruction

Center for Opportunity Urbanism
Texas Thou Hast Sinned

Phillip W. Magness in Houston Chronicle
Don’t blame sprawl for Houston’s floods

Emily Badger in New York Times
Is Houston Still a Model City? Its Supporters Aren’t Backing Down

Scott Bayer in Forbes
Did Houston flood because of a lack of zoning?

Pro-Building Codes

Danny Samuels in OffCite
Harvey Musings: “Zoning made no difference. But stricter building codes did.”

Mistakes Were Made Stories

Dallas Morning News
As Houston grew, officials ignored ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to spare thousands from flooding

CBC News
Houston was warned it was a ‘sitting duck’ for major flood

Dr. Robert Bullard on Democracy Now
Houston’s “Unrestrained Capitalism” Made Harvey “Catastrophe Waiting to Happen”

Texas Tribune
A year before Harvey, Houston-area flood control chief saw no “looming issues”

George Monbiot in the Guardian
Why are the crucial questions about Hurricane Harvey not being asked?

Awesome Stories About People Helping People and Dark Stories

ABC News
Fleet of monster trucks conducts rescues in flood-ravaged Texas

Dear Houston – A Los Angeles reporter forever changed by your strength

‘We don’t have anything’: landlords demand rent on flooded Houston homes

USA Today
In small town, Harvey ‘just a catastrophic citywide event’

Houston Chronicle
Harvey deaths held down by heeded warnings, rescues, luck

What next

Governor Greg Abbott in Houston Chronicle
Rebuild coastal areas to abate flood danger

How Transit Can Speed Houston’s Recovery

An Optimistic Response to Harvey

Eric Berger in arsTECHNICA
This is probably the worst US flood storm ever, and I’ll never be the same

Jim Schutze in Dallas Observer
Nation Should Invest in Houston — But Not the Way Texas Will Want to Do It

Nolan Gray in CITYLAB
Houston’s Zoning Wasn’t the Problem

Billy Fleming in the Guardian
The real villains in Harvey flood: urban sprawl and the politicians who allowed it

Richard Parker in Politico
How Harvey Will Change Texas

A Texas Solution to Texas’ Climate Change Problem

State Representative Gene Wu in Texas Tribune
Texas needs to tap Rainy Day Fund for Hurricane Harvey relief

Washington Post
‘If they deport all of us, who will rebuild?’ Undocumented workers could be key to Texas recovery.

Texas Tribune
Texas officials see long road from Harvey for state transportation network

Jim Blackburn of Rice Baker Institute
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey: Policy Perspectives (pdf)

David Crossley in the Houston Tomorrow Newsletter
Harvey, a new standard for chaos

Lacy Johnson in the New York Times
It’s the DACA Decision, Not Hurricane Harvey, That May Tear Houston Apart

Richard Florida and Jonathan Rose in CityLab
Houston’s Big Opportunity for Better Urban Development

Why Texas May Not Be Equipped for the Recovery From Harvey

Dr. John Jacob in Watershed Texas by the Texas Coastal Watershed Program of Texas A&M
Above all, elevate!

Houston Matters on Houston Public Media
How And Where Will Greater Houston Rebuild, Post-Harvey?

Houston Chronicle
Government faces suit over Addicks and Barker dam releases

Rivard Report
San Antonio Leaders Mull Strategies to Avoid Flood Disaster

Dallas Morning News Editorial Board
Why Dallas must use Hurricane Harvey as a catalyst for responsible growth

Pre-Harvey Takes Making the Rounds

ProPublica / Texas Tribune
Boomtown, Flood Town

Michael F. Bloom P.E.
A Response to “Boomtown, Flood Town”

Jay Blazek Crossley in Houston Chronicle’s Gray Matters
Stop Building Neighborhoods That Make Other Neighborhoods Flood

The Inverse Condemnation Thing

Raizner Slania LLP
Inverse Condemnation Rights: Important Information for Homeowners Flooded after the Houston Addicks and Barker Dam Releases

Texas Condemnation
Flooded by the Government: Does Intentional Flooding Amount to a Compensable Taking?

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