Harris County Flood Facts – Did You Know?
While digging for some flood facts on the Harris County Flood Control District website, I came across a media guide written in October 2016. That may be why it was buried in the archives. The headliner – Harvey – happened just 10 months later!
Therefore, it contains some obviously dated references. Regardless, it also contains a gold mine of useful information about flooding. In fact, it’s a condensed, crash course in flooding – all in 16 pages. Below: some nuggets of information I pulled from it combined with some updated information.
Did You Know?
- Harris County Flood Control District maintains more than 2,500 miles of bayous and creeks. That’s the distance from Los Angeles to New York City. Imagine mowing that three times each year during the growing season!
- Stormwater detention basins near Brays Bayou have a combined capacity equivalent to seven “Astrodomes” — about 3.5 billion gallons!
- Harris County’s slope toward Galveston Bay is the equivalent of putting dimes under two legs of a 6-foot long pool table. (For every mile toward Galveston Bay, our elevation drops roughly 1 foot.)
- We receive an average of more than 4 feet of rain every year. (51.84 inches at IAH as of this writing.)
- Before the 2018 Flood Bond, Harris County Flood Control District and its funding partners spent an average of $150 million each year for the previous 10 years to build projects that reduced flooding risks and damages. Since the flood bond, we have spent almost $23 million per month. That works out to almost twice as much per year and we haven’t even gotten into the expensive right-of-way-acquisition and construction phases of most projects yet.
- Floodplains show areas at risk for flooding only from bayous and creeks overflowing. There are many areas at risk for flooding from storm sewers and roadside ditches exceeding their capacity that are not located in mapped floodplains.
HCFCD only has jurisdiction over bayous and major creeks in Harris County. Generally speaking, Flood Control does not have jurisdiction over drainage for highways and streets, including roadside ditches and storm sewers. TxDOT, cities, and precincts manage those issues.
Purpose and Outline of Guide
The purpose of the Guide is to serve as a quick reference guide for reporters who cover flooding. However, it’s also written to a level that the general public will find informative easy to understand.
It provides useful information about the Flood Control District, including its purpose, history, governing body, funding sources, jurisdiction and many projects near bayous and creeks.
The guide also includes sections highlighting the flooding history of Harris County, a glossary of flood-related terms, interesting flood facts, and a section dispelling common flooding myths. More on those in a later post.
To review the entire media guide, click here.
Posted on 6/16/2022 by Bob Rehak based on information and photos in the HCFCD Media Guide
1752 Days since Hurricane Harvey.