Woodridge Village Still Silting Up Taylor Gully

Despite countermeasures, such as silt fences and rock baskets designed to catch erosion, Woodridge Village is still silting up Taylor Gully. And this comes shortly after Harris County Flood Control just cleaned out the ditch to restore its conveyance.

Nicole Black-Rudolph captured these two photos downstream from Woodridge. They show the water in Taylor Gully at the Turtle Bridge in Woodstream. The first shows what the water normally looks like. The second shows what it looks like now.

Normal/Now Photos by Nicole Black-Rudolph showing increased silt in Taylor Gully.

Where Did Silt-Laden Water Come From?

Following Taylor Gully upstream, you come to 268 clear-cut acres – Perry Homes’ Woodridge Village. All pictures below show Woodridge Village on the morning of September 7, 2020. A nearby Elm Grove resident, Jeff Miller, reported .7 inches of rain fell in his gauge on 9/5 and 9/6. That wasn’t enough to cause flooding, but it was certainly enough to erode sediment as the pictures below show.

Looking SSW across Woodridge from the top of the N3 detention pond on the eastern border. Elm Grove is at top. Everything slopes toward Taylor Gully in the upper left.
Woodridge Village, looking NW from over Taylor Gully
Looking north at N3 detention pond day after rainfall. Silty water is still flowing out of the pond.
Looking east at the concrete lined portion of Taylor Gully on the Woodridge site where water exits the site and crosses into the open channel on the Harris County side of the county line, out of frame to the right (see below).
Looking south at Taylor Gully immediately south of the county line. Note how color of water in ditch matches the color of water on the right in the side-by-side comparison photo above.

Political Ping Pong

Perry Homes’ troubled development in Montgomery County has been caught in a political ping-pong match that has delayed either its ultimate build out or conversion into a regional detention facility. The match started in February when the City of Houston said Harris County should pay for the conversion. It has continued until now. Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis keeps heaping one new condition after another on the sale of the property to Harris County Flood Control District.

Woodridge contributed to flooding Elm Grove Village in Kingwood (immediately to the south and across the Harris County line) twice last year. Perry contractors had clear cut 268 acres and filled in natural streams and wetlands that criss-crossed the property before fully installing detention ponds. When major rains stuck on May 7th and September 19th last year, sheet flow from Woodridge, coupled with water backing up in the streets of Elm Grove, flooded hundreds of homes. The area is still recovering.

Harris County Flood Control immediately started a project to restore the conveyance of the ditch which was badly silted, in part due to construction activities.

Now, despite best efforts to reduce erosion with conventional countermeasures, the exposed surface washes downstream with each rain. This re-deposits more sediment, which the Flood Control District just removed. (See two photos below from 2019.)

Taylor Gully Before 2019 Clean out.
Taylor Gully After 2019 Clean Out

Pray there’s movement on this deal soon. Perry Homes should plant grass on their property until the ping-pong match is over. Silt fences and rock baskets alone just don’t do the job.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/8/2020 with photos from Nicole Black-Rudolph and Rain Data from Jeff Miller

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