In a true Halloween nightmare last year, floodwaters tore through a southeast Austin neighborhood, destroying homes, killing animals and pets, and claiming the lives of six people. The devastating event shook the community to the core -- and, as is common in the wake of flooding, left millions of dollars in damage.
Residents anticipated help with removing flood-soaked drywall, calling in Austin renovation crews to restore their homes, and rebuilding their community. Unfortunately, the flood recovery effort is being snarled in red tape, with federal agencies refusing aid while horse carcasses rot in the streets because they have yet to be picked up. Thanks to growing pressure from residents and supporters, the effort seems to be moving towards a resolution -- including individual aid for flood recovery to help people rebild their uninhabitable homes -- but it raises some important questions about flood preparedness and recovery for the future. Should a community really have to wait three months for flood relief?