A week after J. Carey Gray, a lawyer representing Perry Homes’ subsidiaries and contractors, promised the Mayor of Houston that his clients would move as quickly as possible to complete Woodridge detention ponds, there still has been no excavation activity at the job site. And in fact, according to Jeff Miller, an Elm Grove resident who visited the site today, much of the material and equipment that had been on site are now gone.
Lack of Detention Implicated in Two Floods
Twice in four months, Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest flooded severely when water from Perry Homes’ troubled Woodridge Village development overflowed into the streets of those communities immediately south and east of Woodridge.
- Before the May flood, Perry had clearcut virtually the entire 268 acres, but installed only 7% of the detention.
- Before the September flood, they had substantially completed only one more pond, bringing the total to 23% of the planned detention.
So it’s not too surprising that the completed detention ponds overflowed in heavy rains.
It was like trying to store 100 gallons of water in a 23 gallon container.
Excavation Work on Detention Ponds Stopped for Two Months
Where’s Larry the Cable Guy when you need him? He could “git-r-done.”
As the pictures below show, there’s one piece of excavation equipment on the northern portion of the site and it hasn’t moved for about a month.
Eight days later, you can see the same equipment still in the same place. However, it appears that two other pieces are now parked with it.
Only Modest Repair Work on Ponds Since August
Resident Jeff Miller reported that an excavator removed some eroded sediment out of one completed pond (S1) after Imelda. Below is the photo he took on 10/6/2019. However, this was repair work, not new excavation work.
Four Detention Ponds Promised as Part of Phase 1
According to the LJA Engineering Drainage Impact Analysis, Table 3, Phase 1 of this development was to have FOUR detention ponds installed: N-1 and N-2 (regraded pilot channel) on the north, S-1 and S-2 on the South.
However, no new detention capacity exists on the northern section which has the steepest slope and the largest surface area. It was to provide 77% of the total detention.
N-1 and N-2 should provide 62% of the detention capacity. However, N-1 doesn’t exist. N-2 is not fully excavated. And N-3, which will provide another 15% is only a distant dream.
Hundreds of Families Remain at Risk
The lack of progress on detention places hundreds of families at risk as we slog our way through another 5 weeks of hurricane season. The season ends on November 30. But flood-weary residents also remain wary of non-tropical storms, such as Tax Day, Memorial Day, and May 7th this year. In the moist, Gulf-coast region, heavy storms can strike any time of year.
J. Carey Gray’s Promise
Last week, J. Carey Gray, Attorney at Law, made a promise to the City of Houston’s top lawyer, Mayor Sylvester Turner. Gray said, “To the extent possible, we will attempt to begin each project as quickly as plans can be completed and approved.”
Now, there’s an iron-clad contract if I ever saw one! However, as of October 22, 2019, no residents that I consulted around the site had seen any workers recently. Mr. J. Carey Gray, Attorney at Law, dated his letter October 17th.
According to resident Nancy Vera who lives immediately south of the construction site, there has been no recent construction activity anywhere on the site that she or her family can see.
Gretchen Smith who can see the site from her front yard in Porter has seen no workers.
Jeff Miller visits the site almost daily to check progress or non-progress of work. He had not seen any workers lately either. Moreover, he said that much of the materials and heavy equipment that had been stored on site appear to be gone.
Maybe Mr. Gray needs to consult with Larry, the Cable Guy.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/23/2019, with help from Jeff Miller, Nancy Vera, and Gretchen Dunlap-Smith
785 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 34 since Imelda
All thoughts in this post represent my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.