Debris Removal from Lake Houston Begins

Debris removal from Lake Houston has begun. On Sunday, May 27, I received a brief note from Keith Jordan, a Kingwood resident who has been active in flood recovery. His note said, “Toured the river today. Saw two barges with cranes picking up large piles of tree debris along the banks, but no dredging occurring.”

A few hours later, I received another note from Dianne Lansden, co-chair of the Lake Houston Area Grass Roots Flood Prevention Initiative. She forwarded a newsletter to me from State Representative Dan Huberty. The newsletter quoted statements from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council Member Dave Martin about debris removal.

Removing Dead Trees

Turner stated, “I’m pleased to inform you that debris removal operations on the Lake Houston Reservoir began last week with the goal of preventing flooding and improving the use of the lake for recreational purposes and as key water supply source.”

The flood associated with Hurricane Harvey destroyed thousands of trees, which are now being removed from Lake Houston.

“Houston debris contractor DRC Emergency Services, LLC is performing the work with four barges and is expected to add two more by June 1, 2018. There are an estimated 75,000 to 150,000 cubic yards of debris in the lake because of Hurricane Harvey, according to the City’s debris monitoring operator, Tetra Tech. Removal of debris will reach 2,000 cubic yards per day at the height of operations,” said Turner.

At that rate and depending on the actual amount of debris recovered, the project could last anywhere from approximately five to 10 weeks.

During floods, dead trees like those shown above can wash downstream. The debris can then collect at at bridges and dams, impeding the flow water. as Kingwood resident Dave Seitzinger showed. Such piles of trees can work much like beaver dams.

Separate from Army Corps Dredging Project

Apparently, this project is separate from and in addition to the dredging project that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying.

Mayor Turner continued, “This project, when combined with the dredging of the San Jacinto River, provides that residents’ tax dollars are being used in a most beneficial manner to protect their properties from high water.”

Temporary Lowering of Lake Houston For Debris Removal

Dave Martin, District E Houston City Council Member said, “This week, residents can expect to see the level of Lake Houston reduced due to needed maintenance for the health of the Lake Houston Spillway Dam. In order to conduct this work the Coastal Water Authority will need to reduce the level of the Lake from 42.36 ft to 42.0 ft. This reduction in lake level will only be temporary while maintenance is occurring, and residents should not be alarmed. The purpose of the maintenance is to allow crews to remove debris that is currently sitting on top of the dam.”


Posted on May 28, 2018 by Bob Rehak

272 Days Since Hurricane Harvey