Critical Woodridge S2 Detention Pond Approaching Final Dimensions

When Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest flooded on May 7, the Woodridge Village contractor had cleared most of the 268 acres of land north and west of them. The contractor also had sloped the drainage toward those subdivisions without first installing a critical 50 acre-foot detention pond to intercept runoff. Tonight after months of delays, and the flooding of almost 200 homes, work on that pond is almost complete.

S2 Pond Finally Connected to Drainage Ditch Today

Regular readers may remember plans call for a 15-foot deep detention pond shaped somewhat like a hockey stick (see below). The area circled in red is the channel that will connect the pond to the drainage ditch that runs down the east side of the property. Today, some workers excavated that channel while others deepened the pond.

Circled in red: the channel excavated today that will connect the drainage ditch with the detention pond.

Not Much Excavated on May 9

Back on May 9, about a month ago, very little of the pond was excavated when local videographer, Jim Zura, captured this image from his drone. Only a small ditch connected a pond north of Sherwood Trails to the box culvert seen below. The white outline indicates how much of the pond had yet to be excavated.

Almost nothing had been excavated shortly after the May 7 flood. White outline shows the approximate intended dimension of the pond.

Despite the heavy rains in early May and early June, the contractor now has most of the pond excavated. See the video that Jeff Miller shot this afternoon.

Click here to see Jeff Miller Video of S2 as of 6.14.19

Since the flood, the pond has been widened and deepened. Rebel Contractors is now approaching the pond’s final dimensions and target depth of 15 feet, according to Miller. However, Miller was even more excited about the excavation of the channel connecting the drainage ditch running down the east side of the property to the detention pond. “I’ll be able to sleep with both eyes closed tonight,” he said.

In the future, when runoff drains from the northern part of the property to the southern, it will overflow from the ditch into the pond, rather than into neighbors’ houses.

Recent Excavation Despite Heavy Rains Last Week

The next two shots show what the connecting channel looks like from the ground.

Previously, water in the ditch had to funnel down into the 3′ black culvert (bottom left). This caused the ditch to overflow into surrounding neighborhoods when the ditch got full.
Now, however, this channel connects ditch (foreground) and pond (upper left). It will allow runoff to overflow into pond instead of neighbors’ homes.

Bill King Visits Elm Grove Again, Meets Texas Monthly Writer

But that wasn’t the only good news, today. Houston mayoral candidate Bill King visited Elm Grove for the third time in a month and toured the area with Mark Dent, who is covering the story for Texas Monthly.

Bill King (left) and Mark Dent talk about flood mitigation strategies with Taylor Gulley in the background.

King emphasized several needs to Dent. They included:

  • Greater clarity and accuracy of flood maps, so that people can realistically assess their flood risk
  • Safer construction practices that better protect downstream residents
  • Preservation of natural wetlands, buffers and drainage features like those that previously existed on the Woodridge site, and that had protected Elm Grove since it was built.

King emphasized that preserving such natural areas and the wetlands on them can provide both recreation and protection against flooding. Finally, he advocated using buyouts to build more and bigger detention ponds, and also to create more green space.

It’s good to know that King is taking Kingwood issues seriously. He’s making them a centerpiece of his campaign and using them to shine a spotlight on development practices that need improvement in my opinion.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/14/2019 with help from Jeff Miller

654 Days since Hurricane Harvey, 5 weeks since the Elm Grove Flood, and 4 Months Until the Election

Thoughts expressed in this post represent my opinions on matters of public interest and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the great State of Texas.