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‘Hell and High Water’ Named a Finalist in National Magazine Awards

This afternoon, the American Society of Magazine Editors named “Hell and High Water,” a collaboration between ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, a finalist for a National Magazine Awards in the multimedia category.

The immersive project explored the vulnerability of the Houston area to a large, devastating hurricane. Reported by ProPublica’s Al Shaw, and Neena Satija and Kiah Collier of The Texas Tribune, the piece explained how researchers have warned for years that a hurricane could cripple the region, and wreak havoc on the refineries and storage containers clustered nearby — yet leaders have taken almost no action to prevent a disaster.

The project combined interactive online storm simulations based on complex models created by researchers, arresting photography of the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, and deep reporting to illustrate the breadth of the problem.

After “Hell and High Water” was published, President Obama signed into law a bill to expedite a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that will determine how best to protect Houston from such a hurricane. The law emerged from a bill that U.S. Sen. John Cornyn filed in April — one month after ProPublica and The Texas Tribune published the joint report.

The winners will be announced on Feb. 7. See a full list of National Magazine Awards finalists here.

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