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Issue 34
January 2024

Get Your Shovels Ready and Join the 2024 Tree Planting Competition! 

2024 Tree Planting Competition
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The Flood Control District is proud to once again take part in the 2024 Tree Planting Competition! Our organization is one of the sponsors of this event, along with other entities such as Harris County Precinct 4, Houston Area Urban Forestry Council and more. During the event, as many as 20 different teams from across the Greater Houston area will compete to see who can plant 100 trees in the shortest amount of time. People of all experience levels are encouraged to join. (Please note: All participants must be teens or older.) 
The event will be held rain or shine, and awards will be given to the top three fastest teams. Registration for teams has been extended until February 28. Click here to sign up. 

Celebrating the Hard Work of our Teammates

High Fives - HCFCD - January 2024
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Check out our exemplary staff, the wins they’ve achieved and the kudos they’ve received from colleagues. The purpose of the High Five Program is to recognize employees at all levels (contractors and senior leadership, too!) for their day-to-day efforts that contribute to getting the job done.  


This program allows Flood Control District employees to recognize one another for their exemplary work. Whether it's a big project that took extra time or a small effort that saved the day, employees can complete a High Five to spread good will and reward good work.   


If you would like to give one of our teammates a High Five, click here.

In the News
Live Interview

New Faces at the Flood Control District


Jorge Alba 

Engineering Division Director


Rachel Powers 

Senior Flood Resilience Planner


Tuyen Duong 

Encroachment Coordinator


Chuntania Dangerfield 

Human Resources  


Martin Olvera 

Infrastructure Repairs Inspector 


Robert Ballou 

Supplier Engagement & Diversity Program Manager

Meet some of the newest additions to the Flood Control District! Click here to learn more. 

Rachel Powers

What is your title and Department?  

I am the Senior Flood Resilience Planner with the Flood Control District and am one of two team members in the Flood Resilience Division.  

How long have you been with the Flood Control District?  

I started on January 2 of this year. However, I worked here sixteen years ago, from 2002 to 2008.  

How did you get your start at the Flood Control District? 

Carmine Stahl was an extraordinary botanist and naturalist at the County’s Jesse H. Jones Park and Mercer Botanic Garden, and I worked with him on environmental education, botany and land conservation. In 2002, he was helping the Flood Control District develop a vegetation management plan, at the request of the Harris County Flood Control District Task Force. Carmine was ready to step away from the work and recommended me for the job of aligning the Flood Control District’s operations and the Task Force’s concerns regarding vegetation. I worked in the Infrastructure Division for six years, focusing on the “...with appropriate regard for community and natural values” portion of the Flood Control District’s mission of “Creating flood damage reduction projects that work...” 

My new role still involves working with the Task Force, which was reconstituted by Commissioners Court in August 2020. The Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force focuses on equitable resilience and flood resilience planning efforts and projects and serves in an advisory capacity to the Commissioners Court and to the County’s internal Infrastructure Resilience Team.  

What does your job at the Flood Control District entail?   

My job is part of a larger, countywide initiative to promote equitable flood resilience planning efforts, and flood resilience projects. This is a potentially significant change to how the Flood Control District—and the county —approaches equity and resilience in its activities.  

So far, I’ve catching up with the work of both the Task Force and the Infrastructure Resilience Team, with whom I will be working on the resilience efforts. The Infrastructure Resilience Team is in the process of completing a Preliminary Flood Resilience Report, which documents existing community conditions to help understand the status of community flood resilience throughout the county; I have begun helping to complete that report. This spring, the Flood Resilience Division will start working with the Infrastructure Resilience Team, the Task Force, a consultant, and more to develop the Harris County Flood Resilience Plan, which hopefully will go to Commissioners Court for approval sometime next year.  

What is your favorite thing about working at the Flood Control District?  

Working with amazing people to make a difference in people’s lives. 

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?   

Be curious. 

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this week?  

I am having a wonderful time catching up with people with whom I’ve worked before—both here at the Flood Control District and at other jobs and committees. Meeting new colleagues has also been awesome. I especially like learning about what our co-workers do for fun (disc golf, fishing, cycling, coaching kids’ sports teams, gaming, traveling, basketball, woodworking, spending time with family, more fishing, taking the road less travelled...). If you’re a coworker and I haven’t met you yet, please pop in to see me in Room 350 at the Brookhollow building (which has one of the best views in the entire building of our flags). 

What is something about yourself that most people don't know?  

I sing very poorly (and with great enthusiasm). 

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know? 

I spent last year as a government and economics teacher at a small public charter school designated as a drop-out recovery school. The surprising bit is that I started the school’s first Chemistry Demonstration Club.  

I almost became the school’s favorite teacher when, while moving the outside water hose for safety purposes to the demonstration location, the deteriorated PVC hose bib broke off and caused a spectacular fountain of leaking water. The administration almost had to close the school, which would have made me the most popular person in the school (except in the eyes of the administration, who, nevertheless, appreciated my safety-mindedness). The plumber was quick to respond and to repair the leak, so I did not actually become the favorite teacher of the day. I became “The Teacher Who Blew Things Up”. 

What was your first job?  

Not including babysitting, my first job was working as an administrative assistant at a small biotech venture capital firm. I made Xerox copies of the prospectus for potential investors and learned how to type and use a dictation machine with foot pedals. 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?  

I am motivated to wake up and get going by my teenager. If I don’t get into the bathroom first, I’d be waiting forever and would never make it to work on time. From a less practical and more aspirational perspective, I come to work because I believe in the work that the Flood Control District is doing, and I am proud to be a part of making a difference for our communities. 

Construction Engineer

Current Projects

Installation Power Buggy Rental
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