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Why Are These Tiny Towns Getting So Much Hurricane Harvey Aid?

Residents in some small, nearly all-white towns in Southeast Texas are slated to reap far more recovery funds than those in larger cities nearby with large minority populations.
Port Arthur, Texas, on September 28, 2017, in the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.
Port Arthur, Texas, on September 28, 2017, in the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.David Goldman/AP

Taylor Landing is a string of tidy taupe ranch homes bordered by the Taylor Bayou and Texas State Highway 73. It’s barely a dot on the map in Southeast Texas. With just 228 residents, it’s one of the smaller towns that was hit by flooding when Hurricane Harvey dropped torrential sheets of rain last year. And, with a median household income of about $69,000 and a poverty rate of 0 percent, it’s also among the wealthier ones.

It’s whiter, too: According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in 2016, none of Taylor Landing’s residents is African American.