Video of Barrington Evacuation During Harvey Makes Case for Lowering Lake Conroe, Nixing High-Rise Development

With barely a spoken word, this video makes an eloquent case for lowering Lake Conroe again this year. It also makes a powerful argument for denying the permit to build 5000 condos and high rises in the surrounding wetlands.

Evacuation from the Barrington during Harvey. Video courtesy of Kenneth and Colleen Ulrich. They moved to Kingwood from New Orleans after Katrina.

Surprise Evacuation

Kenneth Ulrich Jr. shot this video as he and his wife Colleen were forced to evacuate without warning from the Barrington during Harvey.

They share this video on the eve of a key San Jacinto River Authority board meeting. Tomorrow, the board will take up the question of whether to seasonally lower Lake Conroe again this year. The lowering would help provide a margin of safety against flooding like this until other flood mitigation measures can be put in place.

Lake Conroe boaters have complained about the inconvenience of the lower lake levels. The video shows what boating in Kingwood looked like 18 months ago as Harvey’s floodwaters rose.

Many residents escaped with little more than the clothes they wore.

Imagine Evacuating 15,000 People Like This

The video makes another powerful argument. Against the high-rise development proposed for Kingwood. Developers hope to build it around the Barrington which you see here. They want to build 5,000 condos immediately to the north and a string of high rises, including a 50 story hotel, immediately to the south. Kingwood has an average household population density of 2.71. That means this development could add 15,000 people to the area.

Every one of the 283 homes in the Barrington flooded. Imagine trying to evacuate another 15,000 people by boat during the next Harvey.

The developers have planned only one way in and out of this project – Woodland Hills Drive – which will be under water when the next big flood hits.

Clearly, they did not consider evacuation when they planned this development.

How to Register Your Concerns

If you have concerns about the high-rise project, email the US Army Corps of Engineers at: . Make sure you put the project number in the title of the email: SWG-2016-00384 .

To voice your concerns to the SJRA board, attend the board meeting Thursday, Feb. 28 at:

1577 Dam Site Road
Conroe, Texas 77304

Speakers are limited to three minutes each. Business attire is recommended. To reserve time to speak you must sign in by 7:45. The meeting will be in the tall building.

Allow an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half to get there in rush hour traffic from the Humble/Kingwood area.

As always, these are my opinions on matters of public policy. They are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/27/2019

547 Days after Hurricane Harvey