Sand Island Losing Ground to Army Corps


Sand Island South of the Kingwood Country Club’s Island Course. I took this picture from a helicopter shortly after Hurricane Harvey. This giant dune virtually blocks the entire West Fork. Experts think it contributes to repeated flooding upstream since Harvey.


Keith Jordan, a resident of Kingwood Lake Estates, sent me the pictures below today. They show how quickly Great Lakes Dredge and Dock and the Army Corps are reducing the giant blockage nicknamed “Sand Island” south of Kingwood Country Club. Keith generously consented to let share his pictures with you. He says that much of the island has already been brought down to the water line. It used to jut up 6-10 feet. Still, much dredging remains to reduce the portion below water and restore the conveyance of the West Fork. Progress may look greater than it actually is at the moment because of persistent flooding. As of this posting, the river is still at 46.07 feet according to the USGS gage at US59. That’s about 3.5 feet above normal.

This booster pump keeps sand moving upstream to placement area #2, an old sand mine on Sorters Road south of Kingwood College.
Dredge #2 from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has been eating away that Sand Island since moving downstream from River Grove Park.
Much of Sand Island is now at the water level.
This wider shot gives you a good feeling for how little is left.

Hopefully, we will get more recent aerial shots from our local drone pilots soon. As the West Fork returns to its normal level, we will see exactly how much of Sand Island remains.

Posted by Bob Rehak on January 6, 2019

496 Days since Hurricane Harvey