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Houston approves new post-Harvey flood construction rules

Houston approves new post-Harvey flood construction rules

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston has approved new building regulations that will dictate how high new homes and other structures must be elevated to avoid floodwaters.

The City Council approved the regulations Wednesday. The come in the way of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded thousands of homes in the nation's fourth-largest city.

Under the rule, new structures in the 100-year and 500-year flood plains would be constructed 2 feet (0.61 meters) above the ground or above the projected water level in a 500-year flood, an event in which 17 to 19 inches (32 to 48 centimeters) of rain falls in 24 hours.

The proposal was opposed by many home builders, who said the rule would drive up home prices.

The city's current rule only applies to property in the 100-year flood plain.

Harris County, where Houston is located, approved similar new rules in December.