Street Flooding Rampant Throughout Kingwood, Streams Near Capacity

Had Harris County Flood Control not recently excavated parts of Bens Branch and Taylor Gully, both streams would have likely come out of their banks today. The skies opened up and dumped 4.98 inches on my rain gage in a little more than two hours. That’s about a 10-year rain according to the new Atlas 14 statistics below.

Atlas 14 Rainfall Statistics for the Kingwood Area.

Photos from Around Kingwood

At 5 pm both streams were near the tops of their banks but well within them. That might not have been the case just a couple months ago before the flood control district widened and deepened them to restore their original conveyance. Parts of Ben’s Branch were down to a two year level of service. That’s means they would flood in a two-year rain…obviously less than today’s.

Bens Branch at Kingwood Drive at approximately 5pm on 5/17/2021 after receiving 4.88 inches of rain in about 2 hours.
Taylor Gully at approximately same time taken from the Maple Bend Bridge in Woodstream Forest. Photo by Nicole Black-Rudolph. Finished in the nick of time. Note the construction equipment still in the right corner of the frame.
Photo by Jeff Miller around same time. This shows Taylor Gully at the bridge over Rustic Elms, farther upstream toward Woodridge Village.
Video by Paul Campbell at approximately 3pm on 5/17/21. Shows the level of Ben’s Branch behind his apartment in Kingwood Town Center, also recently excavated by HCFCD.
Street flooding on West Lake Houston Parkway near Kingwood Drive at 5pm. I saw scenes like this all over Kingwood this afternoon while trying to return from a lunch in the Woodlands.

Forecast for Remainder of Evening

As of 5:30 pm, Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist said, “Heavy rainfall continues to progress WSW across the area while a second area of heavy rainfall is moving SE across western Montgomery, N Waller, and NW Harris County. This area to the northwest is the remains of a line of thunderstorms from central Texas.” 

“Rainfall amounts have averaged 2-3 inches over the northern half of Harris County with 4-6 inches over the Humble, Kingwood, Crosby, and Huffman areas,” said Lindner. “Significant street flooding has occurred over the northeast and northern portions of the county into Liberty and Montgomery Counties. While the activity is continuing to progress through the area, recent radar and HCFCD gage rainfall sensors indicate the hourly rainfall rates have weakened into the .50-1.5 inch range which is significantly lower than the 3-4 inches per hour recorded earlier this afternoon.”

“Street flooding will continue into the early evening hours and slowly subside over the area, while creeks and bayous continue to respond to the heavy rainfall. At this time all creeks and bayous are well within banks.”

More Yet to Come

Heavy rainfalls like this afternoon’s should continue through Thursday when the chances start to diminish through the weekend. Runoff should increase as grounds are now thoroughly saturated. Stay cautious. I almost drove into the water that rose to the bumper of that semi above. It didn’t look that deep but obviously could have stalled my Tahoe. Remember, if water gets over your tailpipe, it will cause your engine to stall. Game over.

Posted by Bob Rehak on May 17, 2021 based on personal observation and information supplied by HCFCD, Jeff Miller, Paul Campbell, and Nicole Black-Rudolph

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