Getting Close to Nature. Maybe too close!

During this recent flood, the East Fork crested after the West Fork – because of where heavy rain fell upstream. This morning, ABC13 posted a story about how FM1485 in New Caney was under water from East Fork flooding.

Otter Point in East End Park at dusk. This deck is normally about 4 feet above lake level. Photo by John Knoerzer.

Tonight, a friend, John Knoerzer, texted this photo to me from Otter Point at East End Park. In case you didn’t know, East End Park is on the East Fork of the San Jacinto. John runs a heating and air conditioning company called UniServe. He’s a great AC guy, but never claimed to be a photographer. Nevertheless, the composition of his photo above almost feels like art.

People familiar with this site will recognize that despite releasing water for days, water is still 4 feet above the normal level and that the East Fork was on the verge of coming out of its banks in the Kingwood area. In fact, it did in some low lying areas.

Once again, I am reminded how very different this flood could have been for many people if the City had not lowered the lake for several days before the rain came. They not only lowered it the announced 18″, they kept lowering it as the flood built. Despite all that, it was a close call.

Close Call Underscores Need for Additional Gates

The frantic efforts to lower the lake underscore how important additional gates are for the Lake Houston Dam. The City needs the ability to shed water faster before it reaches the height of the spillway. With greater capacity, operators can reduce uncertainty associated with pre-releasing water…by waiting until storms are closer and forecasts become more certain. Operators can then be confident that they are not wasting precious water.

Weather forecasts can be notoriously fickle. And in fact, this one did not drop rain where predicted. Nor did it drop as much as predicted. Still, many areas were on the verge of being submerged as you can see from the photos above and below.

Parks are meant to be flooded. Fuel tanks? Not so much.

Kudos for Houston City Council Member Dave Martin for leading the charge in the effort to get the City to pre-release water.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ command post for emergency dredging almost had an emergency of its own. Another foot higher and the site would have flooded. Photo taken Saturday afternoon, the day after the heavy rain.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/11/2018

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