I spent four hours driving around Kingwood and Forest Cove this afternoon counting flood-damaged homes from the heavy rains last week. I counted a total of 211. Of those, 196 were in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest. That means 93% were near the 262 acres that Figure Four Partners clearcut for its new development in Montgomery County.
The remaining 15 homes appeared to be isolated, low-lying homes or homes with blocked drains. Only four of those in Woodland Hills and Bear Branch appeared related to creek or ditch flooding. The rest were scattered around Kingwood and Forest Cove.
Breakdown by Location
Here’s the breakdown of what I could find … in descending order.
- Elm Grove – 175
- North Kingwood Forest – 21
- Bear Branch – 5
- Forest Cove – 4
- Woodland Hills – 3
- Trailwood – 2
- Kings Forest – 1
Most damaged homes outside of Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest appeared to be isolated instances in low-lying areas. In two places, I saw two damaged homes next to each other.
I could only find four homes (plus the St. Martha school and Kids in Action) that flooded near Bens Branch. Bens Branch is another stream about the size of Taylor Gully and not far from it.
I expected to find many more flooded homes near Bens Branch. But after going down dozens of cul-de-sacs and finding no damage, I abandoned that search.
Massive Concentration Raises Legal Questions
The concentration of damage within a few blocks of Figure Four Partners’ 262 clearcut acres will certainly raise legal issues for the developer and its contractors. So does the fact that all the other creeks in the Kingwood and Forest Cove area put together did not flood more than six homes/businesses that I could see. Several law firms are already reportedly filing law suits on behalf of flood victims. More on that later.
These numbers may be understated because I may have missed some homes where trash had already been picked up. I was looking for the tell-tale wallboard residue in grass where people had piled sheetrock, but trash crews were doing a pretty good job.
Social media reported damage in Hunters Ridge, Sherwood Trails, Kings Mill and Kings Point. But I did not see the damage. If someone flooded in these areas, please send me your address through the contact form on this web site and I will update the count.
Also, I have not yet ventured to Atascocita, Huffman, or Porter. More on those areas in a subsequent post.
People on ten streets in Porter reported damage; all streets appear to be close to the new development, but I have not verified the proximity of damaged homes on those streets to the clearcut area. That 93% figure could rise or fall depending on what I find in Porter.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/14/2019, with thanks to Regan McMahon-Cohen for compiling a list of streets and neighborhoods from social media
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All conclusions expressed in this post are opinions on matters of public policy. They are protected by the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas and the First Amendment of the US Constitution.