The day after Hurricane Harvey finally stopped dumping rain on Houston, thousands of area residents woke up to an unwelcome surprise. Overnight, their homes, which were spared during the storm, had been completely flooded — on purpose.
As crazy as that sounds, it’s actually by design. Houston’s flood infrastructure is so old that it’s the only way the city can save itself from a total disaster. VICE News got a firsthand look at what happened when city officials were forced to order a second flood in order to save the city — and why they had to do it in the first place.
This episode of VICE News Tonight originally aired September 6, 2017, on HBO.