Since June, I’ve posted about problems in the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County. Among them: the washout of FM1010 where it crosses over Rocky Branch. Authorities have closed the busy road which provides access to Colony Ridge for three years, forcing tens of thousands of residents to seek alternate access routes, such as FM1485 and FM2090.
However, it’s difficult to see all the damage. So today I took a drone and captured some previously unseen details.
Lack of Functional Detention Capacity Likely Contributed to Washout
The damage is likely the result of inadequate, poorly engineered, or poorly maintained detention. Another contributing factor: a steep drop in elevation as water leaves the massive ditch (see above) in Colony Ridge and descends through a wooded area toward FM1010. That drop accelerated more water than should have been traveling down Rocky Branch, an East Fork San Jacinto tributary. As a result, floodwaters swept trees and other debris downstream.
One Thing Leads to Another
- Clogged culverts under the road…
- Then, when the roadbed became a dam…
- …Water churned through the roadbed next to the culverts…
- …And deposited more “beaver dams” downstream…
- …that, in turn, contributed to the flooding of surrounding homes.
Years of Neglect Still Ignored
Amazingly, no one in Liberty County corrected these problems after Harvey. As a result, many homes flooded again in 2019, during heavy downpours on May 7th and September 19th. The problems still have not been fixed. See the pictures below. I took them this afternoon.
Just yesterday, I had lunch with a couple who were considering moving to Liberty County because they were seeking a quieter lifestyle. I told them about this story. They are reconsidering.
Not All Business is Good Business
Colony Ridge has grown into the world’s largest trailer park in less than a decade. It brought more than its fair share of problems:
- Inadequate floodwater detention capacity
- Not enough schools
- Lack of retail
- Sewage leaks and spills
- Poor access
- Virtually no fire hydrants
- Mistakes in platting
- Property line conflicts
- Legendary traffic backups – even on Sunday afternoons.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/25/2020
1153 Days since Hurricane Harvey
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.