A Spatial Analysis of Possible Environmental Exposures in Recreational Areas Impacted by Hurricane Harvey Flooding, Harris County, Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast in August 2017 causing catastrophic flooding. Harris County is highly vulnerable to flooding, which is controlled in part by a system of bayous that include parks and trails. The petrochemical industry, as well as thousands of documented sources of environmental pollution make recreational areas susceptible to environmental contamination during flood events. Recreational areas and toxic exposure sources were geocoded by subwatershed boundaries and overlaid with the area of Hurricane Harvey inundation. A total of 121 of 349 (36.78%) parks were flooded; 102 of 121 (84.30%) were located in subwatersheds with at least one exposure source. A total of 337 exposure sources (6 Superfund, 32 municipal solid waste, and 299 petroleum storage tanks) in 30 subwatersheds were flooded. Though parks provide flood mitigation and other postdisaster benefits, their susceptibility to environmental contamination should be considered, especially in areas with a large number of toxic exposure sources.

published proceedings

  • Environ Manage

altmetric score

  • 4.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Karaye, I., Stone, K. W., Casillas, G. A., Newman, G., & Horney, J. A.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Karaye, Ibraheem||Stone, Kahler W||Casillas, Gaston A||Newman, Galen||Horney, Jennifer A

publication date

  • October 2019