State Rep. Harold Dutton

Harold Dutton was born in Fifth Ward and attend Texas Southern University for law school. Dutton remembers Hurricane Carla in 1961 and how it impacted his first days of college. During Harvey, Dutton worried that his house might not withstand the storm, and his neighborhood lost power so he was unable to keep up with the impacts in real time.

Listen to the full interview with Rep. Dutton
Rep. Dutton talks aobut the local, state and federal response to the storm

At one point, Dutton looked out at the street and saw that there was flooding just a couple blocks away from his home. A friend came to rescue him in a moving truck. They drove around the city and found people who needed help and took them in the truck to higher ground. Dutton explains that his staff worked tirelessly to help his constituents while he recovered from a stroke that occurred just days after the flood. Dutton’s own family fared well during the storm. He says that the city did as well as it could to respond to the disaster, and also says that the state could have done more in the aftermath. The state did not use any of the money set aside in a rainy day fund. He also explains that challenges faced by his constituents who tried to get aid from FEMA, who does not offer much help to people who are renting their home. Dutton’s district is mainly renters, and he says that about ninety percent of his district was impacted by the storm. He also says that his districted is going to be affected in the census, as so many residents left after the storm. Dutton believes that the city is better prepared for the next storm, but that there is still a lot that needs to be done to help those who are most affected by floods. For the 2019 legislative session, Dutton hopes that the legislature will take control of the rainy day fund from the governor, who declined to use it after Harvey.