Last week, while driving through Forest Cove, I noticed construction activity and Harris County Flood Control District signs at the Kingwood Diversion Ditch near Walnut Lane. The area downstream from the bridge has some of the worst erosion of any ditch in Kingwood.
Area Now Under Repair As It Looked in 2009
Erosion was bad for years and only got worse during major storms in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Massive slabs of the banks broke off in chunks, threatening trails and adjacent homes.
Since the picture above in 2009, the ditch has eroded both down and outward to increase its conveyance as new subdivisions upstream scabbed off of Kingwood’s infrastructure.
Pictures of Work in Progress Today
Oh, what a difference a decade makes! Note the exposed storm drains in the pictures below that you cannot see in the picture above.
The erosion left storm drains elevated and exposed to the ravages of floodwaters. Some were crushed, causing water to back up into streets and drainage ditches during heavy rains.
The velocity of water through this ditch during floods has earned it the nickname “Kingwood Rapids” from white-water enthusiasts.
How the Diversion Ditch Got Its Name
The Kingwood Diversion Ditch got its name when Friendswood realized that Ben’s Branch could not hold all the water being brought to it by adjacent subdivisions.
So Friendswood literally built a ditch that diverts a portion of the water coming down Ben’s Branch from Montgomery County just above Northpark Drive.
Luckily, Friendswood designed the bridges over the Diversion Ditch to accommodate expansion of the ditch. HCFCD is studying that possibility now as part of the Kingwood Area Drainage Analysis. Results of the study should be published this fall.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/5/2020
1011 Days after Harvey