Staring Down the Barrel of a 268-Acre Water Cannon

The land in Woodridge Village naturally slopes from north to south and west to east. That means it forms a funnel pointed at Taylor Gulley in the southeast portion of the development. During heavy rains, as we saw last May and September, that funnel turns into a water cannon aimed at Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest. These new aerial photos show where the water is aimed.

Looking toward southeast, you can see how all the land in Woodridge Village slopes toward the far corner. North Kingwood Forest is the group of houses you can see in front of the water tower. Elm Grove is behind those and also the far tree line right of those.

When the land above was wooded and populated only by forest and wetlands, water percolated through the area slowly. Now that the Perry Homes’ gang clearcut the entire 268 acres, water shoots through it like the barrel of a water cannon.

“What Happens If We Cross The Streams?”

LJA Engineers designed the drainage for this development so that virtually all water would converge in the kite-shaped detention pond below before flowing into Taylor Gulley.

Looking west from the southeastern corner of Woodridge Village. North Kingwood Forest is at the bottom of the frame and Elm Grove is tucked into the trees in the upper left and beyond. Virtually all water from the development flows to the pond in the center of this photo. Then it flows through the twin culverts into Taylor Gully on the left.

When the pond fills and water starts to back up, channel starts flowing through the backwards of the homes at the bottom of the photo above.

Looking southwest. Water flows from top to bottom and right to left. Water from Taylor Gulley, the channel that forms a V above, must either squeak through a 3 foot pipe at the end of the concrete section on the left, or make a double U-turn into the detention pond and then back into the gulley on the left. That’s like forcing traffic make a U turn in the center of a busy intersection.

It reminds me of that immortal scene from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters. What happens when you cross the streams, Egon?

Egon: Don’t cross the streams.
Peter: Why?
Egon: It would be bad.
Peter: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean “bad”?
Egon: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Raymond: Total protonic reversal.
Peter: That’s bad. Okay. Alright, important safety tip, thanks Egon.

Obviously, the LJA Engineers who designed this drainage either didn’t see the movie or didn’t take it seriously.

Dumping Overflow into Surrounding Streets and Homes

In the photo below, you can see where the water goes when the streams cross during heavy rains. The pond and the stream (Taylor Gulley) leading to it become water cannons when they overflow. Water shoots into the homes in North Kingwood Forest (right). It also shoots down the streets of Elm Grove (bottom left).

Looking north up Village Springs Drive toward Woodridge Village. Virtually all water from the development converges in the kite-shaped detention pond. During floods, overflows shoots down Village Springs or into North Kingwood Forest (right).

Below are links to two videos that show water overflowing from the detention pond into Village Springs Drive and the homes there.

The first is from May 7th by Edy Cogdill.

The second is from September 19th by Alyssa Harris.

Of course, part of the problem with crossing these streams is that Perry Homes still has only installed 23% of the detention. There’s just no way that 23% can do the job of 100%. The rest of that water has to go somewhere else. Like living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/7/2020 with thanks to Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Alyssa Harris and Edy Cogdill

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The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.