forest cove townhome

Last Forest Cove Townhome Now Down

Today, the last townhome in Forest Cove was demolished – 1799 days after Hurricane Harvey, the storm that left them uninhabitable.

As of 3PM today, only one small portion of one wall remained and the demolition crew was busy loading up the last debris into waiting trucks. I may take another day or two to remove foundations and concrete driveways. But this show is over.

All that remained as of 3PM 8/2/22
Excavator loads debris into waiting truck.

Before Demolition

How last complex looked on 2/24/22, before demolition.

The last complex was situated across from the Forest Cove pool on Marina Drive. 240,000 cubic feet per second coming down the West Fork during Harvey blew out doors, windows, stairs and portions of balconies. The homes became uninhabitable for structural reasons.

Photo taken on July 22, 2022 shows location of last complex relative to Forest Cove pool.

You would think that in such cases, buyouts would take little time. But some people reportedly fled mortgage obligations to avoid payments on homes they could no longer live in. Without forwarding addresses, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) had no choice but to go through lengthy condemnation proceedings in several cases. And until every unit in a complex like the one above had been bought, HCFCD could not tear down the complex.

The buyout and demolition process lasted four years. It began in 2018 and the first complex came down in 2019. Two complexes burned down.

While the legal system sputtered through Covid, drug dealers, illegal dumpers, arsonists, and graffiti artists took over these buildings. But now the area can return to nature. HCFCD will use this area to help preserve the floodplain.

Thank You, HCFCD!

Thanks to the women and men of the Harris County Flood Control District and their contractors for their diligence. Today’s demolition will make a huge difference in the quality of life for everyone in Forest Cove. Residents’ pool, athletic fields and community room were in the middle of this area. Perhaps now it can be restored to a productive, recreational purpose.

There is still no word on plans for the area. The only thing we know is that the FEMA money used to buy out the Forest Cove townhomes came with strings attached. Specifically, no other “insurable structures” can every be built on the purchased property.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/2/2022

1799 Days since Hurricane Harvey