Woodridge Village Swamped by 1/4 Inch of Rain in 7 Days

.28 inches of rain in the last week swamped Woodridge Village. Woodridge contributed to the flooding of Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest twice last year after contractors clearcut 268 acres.

Gage at West Lake Houston Parkway

Standing Water Over Half of Development

Looking southwest across Woodridge Village. Virtually half of subdivision is holding ponding water. This and all photos below taken on 1/20/2020.
A closer shot. Looking southwest across Woodridge Village at land once classified as wetlands by USGS

Extremely Low Infiltration Rate

Now we know why the runoff rate was so high after Perry Homes clearcut the land. The soils may be sandy clays with very low infiltration rates. Alternatively, there may be clay close to the surface that prevents water from infiltrating. 

If approximately 1/4 inch of rain in seven days does this, you can imagine how much would run off when you get 6 to 12 inches in a day.

LJA designed this development to hold 12 inches of rain that falls in 24 hours. But contractors still have only installed 23% of the detention. And the runoff rate may have been based on non-representative samples.

Mysteries Abound

Also Perry Homes’ clearcut the entire northern section when LJA promised that contractors would only cut 30 acres in Phase One. That could be a Career Limiting Move (CLM) for Perry Homes CEO Kathy Perry Britton.

Mysteriously, the core sampling done as part of the geotechnical report managed to miss all areas classified as wetlands in the USGS National Wetlands Inventory.

Mysteriously, Perry Homes hired a private consultant to review the wetlands rather than seeking a jurisdictional delineation from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Perry claims the consultant found no wetland issues though Perry has not released the consultant’s report.

Those wetland areas largely coincided with the areas now holding the ponding water.

USGS Wetlands Map. Background shows Woodridge Village BEFORE clearcutting.

So many questions and so little time.

Movement in Court Case and on Ground

The Harris County District Clerk’s office shows absolutely no movement in the court case between Perry subsidiaries, their contractors and flood victims. The last motion on file: December 27.

Meanwhile, Perry is still working on the S2 detention pond that they virtually completed last August. On October 17, lawyer extraordinaire and local savant J. Carey Gray promised they would finish that pond in 45 days. So far, it’s been 95. And they continue to UNDO work previously completed.

January 20, 2020. Contractors continue to elevate the southern and eastern edges of Woodridge Village’s S2 detention pond.
The same berm from ground level. Elevated several feet above Elm Grove. Backslope interceptor swale mysteriously eliminated. Ground now sloped to funnel runoff from slope directly into Elm Grove (left). Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Where this pipe sticks up, there used to be a swale designed to keep water from flowing into Elm Grove and funnel it into the pond. See swale in background next to fence that contractors have not yet filled in. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.

This whole sad, sorry development reminds me of one of those Hollywood horror flicks in which the teenagers do everything wrong, oblivious to the danger that lurks beneath them. I expect to see Dracula’s hand poking up out of the clay any second.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/20/2020 with photos from Jeff Miller

874 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 123 since Imelda

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