Al Shaw is a deputy editor, news apps, at ProPublica. Equal parts designer, developer and reporter, he uses data and interactive graphics to cover environmental issues, natural disasters and politics. A year before Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Shaw was part of a team that produced “Hell and High Water,” which warned of the region's vulnerability to coastal storms. The project won a Peabody Award in 2017. Shaw's project, “Losing Ground,” about the century-long erosion of Louisiana's coast won a Gold Medal from the Society for News Design. His interactive maps surrounding FEMA's response to Hurricane Sandy were honored with the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award. Before joining ProPublica, Shaw was a designer/developer at the political news website Talking Points Memo.
We ran water through a room-sized river model to show how levees can make flooding worse. Try it yourself.
Look through thousands of records on Trump administration appointees. Here’s how you can use them in your research.
By building up their own flood protections, some communities have ensured they would be less affected by future floods, while their neighbors would fare worse.
A new analysis of government data shows how levee districts that have raised their levees without federal permits would be better protected against future flooding, while those that follow the rules would see extra flooding.
We assembled an authoritative database of the people appointed to government positions by the Trump administration. Here’s how we did it.
For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.
New York’s residential trash is hauled away by the city, but private companies collect trash thrown away by businesses. Every night, an army of private trucks zig-zag across the city, making hundreds of stops each.
The city got two “100-year” storms in the two years before Harvey made landfall. All three storms flooded thousands of houses, many outside of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood plains.
The Trump White House tried to block public access to visitor logs of five federal offices working directly for the president even though they were subject to public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. A Washington-based transparency group successfully sued the administration to release the data and provided the documents to ProPublica.
Even after Hurricane Harvey, the best efforts by Harris County officials to purchase the most flood-prone homes won’t make a dent in the larger problem — worsening flooding, and a buyout program that can’t keep up.
Despite concerns about flooding in and around the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, government officials prioritized development.
After an oil tank in Houston’s Manchester neighborhood caved in, private monitors found levels that far exceeded California’s health guideline
The government has shelled out $265 million for flood claims on 1,155 severe repetitive loss properties in the flood insurance program in Harris County.
Here’s another shadowy batch of officials the Trump administration has quietly deployed across the government.
The water that goes around the spillways is going to have to leave the reservoir somehow — and enter areas surrounding it.
Houston faces massive flooding from Harvey. Here’s where it’s flooded in the past.
We’re recruiting local reporters and civically engaged citizens. We have a few ideas on how you can find these deals, who to talk to about them, and what documents to look for.
In February, President Trump ordered federal agencies to form task forces charged with finding regulations to weaken or eliminate. While the names of appointees to executive-agency task forces are typically made public, some agencies are refusing to reveal who is on their panels
The financial disclosures come from White House staffers, President Trump’s Cabinet and hundreds of members of so-called beachhead teams that the administration has quietly hired at federal agencies.
Thanks to your help, we've found many previously unannounced Trump White House hires, including a longtime member of an anti-ACLU group and an ex-Washington Times columnist.