News Categories: News Release

23 May
By: Communications 0

Assistance Still Available for Hurricane Harvey Repairs

Federal funding is still available for Harris County residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. Unincorporated Harris County residents who suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey are invited to visit and fill out a pre-application for assistance.

Eligible residents may qualify for the following:

  • Up to $80,000 for help repairing a damaged property.
  • Up to $160,000 for reconstruction on your own property.
  • Up to an additional $40,000 on homes qualifying for reconstruction that require elevation.
  • Up to $50,000 for reimbursements on repairs already made.
  • Opportunities for buy-outs and relocation for those who qualify.
  • A help line is available at 832-927-4961 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions.  Residents who would like in-person assistance with their application may visit permanent intake centers at the following addresses:
  • 13101 Northwest Freeway, Suite 215 Houston, TX 77040
  • 12941 North Freeway Suite 600 Houston, TX  77060
  • 14700 FM 2100 Suite 2 Crosby, TX  77532
  • 3315 Burke Road, Suite 204 Pasadena, TX 77504

Also, to apply online, click here For more information, visit

Houston residents can apply for assistance by clicking here.



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23 May
By: Communications 0

New Public Flood Warning System

The Harris County Flood Control District’s 10-year old Flood Warning System website is getting updates that could prove invaluable during the next storm.

“Our current Flood Warning System website is 10 years old, and this grant will allow us the ability to provide the residents of Harris and surrounding counties a more modern and user-friendly experience,” said Jeff Lindner, director of hydraulic operations and meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District.

The new website will include enhanced functionality and viewing capabilities, updated and modernized graphics, and features that allow residents to sign up for information via email, text message, and automated calls.

Critical mapping features such as channel status and near real-time inundation mapping will be displayed in more prominent locations of the new website. It will take a more regional approach, allowing residents in nearby counties to easily view rainfall and water-level information in most jurisdictions.

Earlier in the year, Harris County Commissioners Court approved a State Award letter to allow the Harris County Flood Control District to begin work on the new website.

Funding for the website will come from a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

HCFCD encourages county residents to bookmark the website URL ( ), for simplified access to timely information during potential flooding events.

In addition to building a new website, the grant will pay for an internal dashboard that will give staff with the Harris County Flood Control District and selected partner agencies access to current and forecasted flooding conditions throughout the county. The dashboard will display the county bayou and stream network and flood forecasted model data, such as future water levels and flooding extents.

To learn more about the Flood Control District, click here: .

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23 May
By: Communications 0

Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program Gets New Name

Goodbye, Senior Adult Program. Hello, Encore! Harris County Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program has a fresh, new name to reflect modern attitudes about aging.

The Encore! program will continue to provide activities, volunteer opportunities, and day trips to adults over 50, just as Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program has done for the past 27 years. But Jan Sexton, director of the Precinct 4 Encore! program, said the new name will help eliminate the negative stereotypes of aging.

“We don’t want to call our participants anything other than adults.” said Sexton. “We wish to focus on new ways to serve this growing population who challenge conventional thinking about aging and seek to discover and rediscover purposeful ways to make a difference throughout their lives.”

The name change comes after Precinct 4’s former Senior Adult Program conducted a demographic study on aging. The study found that not only were participants healthier and more youthful, but they craved new programs to fit their lifestyle.

“We began tailoring our programs several years ago to respond to this stage of life that included more active day trips and volunteer opportunities,” said Sexton. “We recognized that these adults are active, healthy, skilled, knowledgeable, and wise. So we combined educational and recreational opportunities with service to create social impact – which, in turn, creates purposeful lives!

To reflect this image, the senior adult program will be replaced with the new departmental name, Precinct 4 Encore!, starting June 1. Stay tuned for updates!

For more information on Precinct 4’s Encore Program, click here.

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23 May
By: Communications 0

Harris County Animal Shelter Reaches Milestone

Here’s something to celebrate: the Harris County Animal Shelter has achieved a 90% live-release rate in 2019, up from 15.5 percent in 2012.

The shelter’s steady push to increase awareness of adoptable pets, expand foster programs, and partner with out-of-state rescue organizations has led to one of the biggest turnarounds for an open-admission shelter in the state. The shelter originally set a goal of achieving a live-release rate of 90% by 2020.

“Internally at the shelter, we have focused on our lifesaving programming, which includes adoption, fostering, and animal transports to out-of-state placement partners,” said Kerry McKeel with the Harris County Animal Shelter. “Externally, we have benefited from the support of volunteer animal networkers bringing visibility to individual animals through social media, local rescue groups taking our shelter animals into their programs, as well as partnerships with businesses and organizations that have provided us with, or connected us to, resources to advance our mission to serve the pets of Harris County.”

Those achievements are no easy task in a county as large as Harris County. On average, the shelter receives 40 to 60 animals per day, or as many as 20,000 a year.

Unlike many shelters that have achieved similar live-release rates, the Harris County Animal Shelter must accept every animal that comes through its doors, regardless of breed, temperament, health conditions, circumstances. Despite the hardship, the shelter achieved a live-release rate of 89.5% last year, just under the milestone.

Still, nothing is certain. Spring and summer are the busiest months of the year for any pet shelter, when the highest number of puppies and kittens are born. Fortunately, anyone interested in fostering or adopting an animal can help.

For more information, visit



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08 May
By: Communications 0

What’s in Bloom at Mercer Botanic Gardens

Wondering what’s in bloom at Mercer? Check out some of these beauties below!

Louisiana Iris

Not too many flowers thrive in a swamp, but the Louisiana iris is a gorgeous exception. Blooming from mid-April through May, this water-loving iris features blooms that come in a variety of colors with tough, sword-like leaves that grow several feet tall. Find these colorful plants throughout Mercer’s Hickory Bog.

Indian Pink

Texans can’t resist the scarlet brilliance of Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica), a Texas native that grows near woodland areas. It sends up stems with one-sided spikes of scarlet flowers topped with a yellow, star-shaped lobe. This perennial is blooming now in the Native and Endangered Species Garden.

Purple Coneflower

Bluebonnets may be the state’s showiest wildflower, but purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea and hybrids) are the most enduring. Popping up in dense purple clusters, this perennial typically starts blooming in April and continues through winter. Perfect for dry, rocky areas and prairies, this classic flower is Hill Country royalty that can add pizzazz to any landscape.


These flowers are divine! Now in full bloom, larkspur features 4-foot-tall glowing blue, purple, pink, and white blooms. As a fun bonus, many people think the center of larkspur resembles the face of a rabbit. Find this plant in the Mercer Herb Garden and lining Mercer’s entrance.


There’s nothing like a field of daylilies in full bloom. Although blooms only last a day, flower stalks continue producing new blooms for up to three weeks. Mercer’s daylily collection, which lines the trails near the Tropical Garden, has just started forming buds that will bloom in May and June. Some rebloomers will continue blooming through summer.


Salvia is another reliable performer at Mercer. These heat-resistant and hardy plants feature tubular flowers that are magnets for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees through summer. Texas sage (Salvia coccinea) comes in red, white and coral shades. Anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica) features blue and purple varieties.

For a complete listing, click here

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