Harris County approves new building regulations post-Harvey

New rules take effect Jan. 1

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Stranded vehicles stuck in high water from Hurricane Harvey on Dairy Ashford Drive in Houston.

HOUSTON (AP) - In the wake of devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, officials in the Texas county that is home to Houston have approved new building regulations that they're touting as the toughest in a major U.S. metropolitan area for construction in flood-prone locations.

The new rules, which take effect Jan. 1, will increase how high new homes and other structures in Harris County must be elevated to avoid floodwaters.

Some new structures could be elevated up to 8 feet higher than under current regulations.

The rules cover unincorporated parts of Harris County, where nearly 2 million people reside, but not structures within Houston city limits.

The new regulations approved Tuesday by Harris County commissioners will have builders adhere to construction standards within a 500-year flood plain instead of a 100-year flood plain.

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