"After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change. It passed tougher building codes, offered more buyouts for flood-prone homes and budgeted billions of dollars in new funding for flood control.
It even poached a well-regarded urban planner from Los Angeles to help guide a city once famously averse to planning.
Then, two weeks ago, Tropical Storm Imelda hit, flooding at least 1,700 homes in Houston and surrounding Harris County. The scope of the damage raises hard questions: Were the efforts able to make a difference and can cities act quickly enough for what’s coming?
The misfortune of the Houston area, combined with its relative wealth and experience with disasters, has made it a test case for climate resilience. The result could be a model for other places threatened by climate change — or a lesson in the limits of cities’ ability to adapt."