Clear Debris from Drains Before Next Wave of Rain Hits

Multiple news outlets are reporting that 400 homes flooded in the Kingwood area yesterday due to street and ditch flooding. Street flooding happens when the RAINFALL RATE exceeds the DRAINAGE CAPACITY of storm sewers. Water backs up into streets where it waits until the input and output balance. But when drains are blocked by downed tree limbs, yard waste, and other debris water backs up even higher into homes as it did last night.

Flooded home in Elm Grove

Please Help Clear Drains of Debris

Matt Zeve, Deputy Executive Director of Harris County Flood Control, reminds everyone that, “All citizens have a responsibility to keep their storm sewer inlets and roadside ditches clear of yard debris, trash, and other items that can cause clogging. The City of Houston and Flood Control are not able to police every single ditch and storm sewer inlet out there. We are all in this together.”

It could be your house that you save from flooding in the next rain.

How to Report Debris in Ditches

Some debris will be beyond the capability of homeowners to clear, especially in creeks and drainage ditches. For instance, see the picture below.

Tree down in Ben’s Branch. Photo taken from Tree Lane just east of Bear Branch Elementary.

Clearing such blockages will take professionals with chain saws and lifting equipment.

Call Harris County Flood Control at 713-684-4197 to report these types of issues.  Please make sure you know the closest cross streets.

You can also contact flood control via the web.

City of Houston Also Requests Your Help in Clearing Drains

Dave Martin, Houston City Council Member said, “This morning, I asked the Mayor, and he agreed, like we did in December 2017 AFTER Harvey…in those flooded/affected areas, we will send cameras down the storm drains and sewers to see if there is any blockage. If there is, we will remediate.”

Martin continued, “We are also ‘re-engineering’ our ‘Adopt a Drain’ program which calls for our Residents to adopt a drain/storm sewer in their neighborhood, and periodically check the siltation/trash/clogging/buildup in THEIR drain.

More Rain on Way

At the start of the week, the National Weather Service forecasted 7-10 inches of rain for the week. Yesterday, when a storm stalled over Kingwood, we got that much in one afternoon. And more IS on the way.

NOAA Radar as of noon on Wednesday, 5/8/19.

Today’s Forecast from Flood Control

The next upper level disturbance is already moving into central Texas. The majority of the heavy rainfall should stay to our north today, but our area could certainly see rainfall this afternoon that could result in additional flooding, especially if it falls on areas that were hard hit on Tuesday.

Additionally there is a higher severe weather risk this afternoon especially north of I-10 where large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes will be possible.

Forecast Thursday-Saturday: 

Several complexes and clusters of storms can be expected through the period each capable of dropping multiple inches of rainfall. Expect a moderate risk of flash flooding both Thursday and Friday. 

Additional Rainfall Amounts 

Widespread rainfall of 5-8 inches with isolated totals of 9-12 inches will be possible today through Saturday. While these totals are spread over a 3 day period, much of what falls will likely fall in bursts with each cluster of storms. Air mass remains very much capable of intense rainfall rates as observed yesterday. Hourly rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour will remain possible which will quickly result in urban flash flooding and significant street flooding.

River Report

Grounds are saturated and any additional rainfall…especially in areas that saw heavy rains on Tuesday…is going to run directly into creek, bayous, and rivers that area already highly elevated. If the rainfall forecast does indeed verify, flooding of creeks and bayous in Harris County is certainly possible along with house flooding.

While several creeks and bayous are elevated, all are receding at this time including both the East and West Forks of the San Jacinto River.  

Flash Flood Outlook For Wednesday 

Flash Flood Outlook For Wednesday 

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/8/19 at noon

617 Days since Hurricane Harvey