Corps, Contractors Vacate Old Dredging Command Post, Demobilize

The Emergency West Fork Dredging Program started by the Army Corps of Engineers in May of 2018 is now virtually done with demobilization. In the last month, the Army Corps and its contractors have vacated the old command post they established on the south side of the San Jacinto West Fork opposite Forest Cove. They have removed the remaining pieces of the Great Lakes dredge, dredge pipe, booster pumps, construction trailers, cranes and more.

Nothing Remains But Sand and Memories.

As I flew over the site on 2/13/2020, men were removing two small bulldozers, the last pieces of equipment. Here’s how it looked from the upstream side.

The once bustling Army Corps Command Post for the Emergency West Fork Dredging Program after Harvey. Photo taken 2/13/2020.

Here’s how it looked from the downstream side.

Reverse angle of same location, looking west toward US59.

How Same Site Looked Three Weeks Ago

Less than a month ago, on my January 20th flyover, the site still bustled with activity. Demobilization was in full swing.

Army Corps Command Post on January 20, 2020. Looking East.
Pieces of the Great Lakes dredge at the Army Corps Command Post on January 20, 2020.

They say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Well, I’d say that the Emergency West Fork Dredging program that started in 2018 is now over.

Altogether they removed approximately 2.3 million cubic yards of sediment clogging the West Fork that Hurricane Harvey deposited.

Moving On to Next Phase of Dredging

This, however, does not affect the current mouth bar dredging program. That is a separate effort mounted by the State of Texas. Harris County and the City of Houston.

Grants from FEMA and the Texas Water Development Board, plus money from the 2018 Harris County Flood Bond fund the current program.

It uses mechanical, not hydraulic dredging equipment. The focus of activity is farther downstream closer to the West Fork Mouth Bar.

More on that in my next post.

Posted by Bob Rehak on February 14, 2020

899 Days since Hurricane Harvey