Flood Crests Closer to Lake Houston

Friday, 1/26/24 – Flood crests moved closer to Lake Houston this morning. Crests in the upper Lake Houston Area should happen today and tomorrow. Here is today’s lake and river report based on information provided by Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner.

While rain chances will be high today, actual amounts will be low – generally less than .50 of an inch and more likely less than .25 of an inch. This amount of rainfall will not cause any additional flooding over the region. Drier and cooler conditions will filter into the area over the weekend.

Run-off from the rains this week continues with several rivers flooding, but we are starting to see some crests and slow improvement as flood waves move downstream.

Lake Conroe

The level in Lake Conroe started decreasing this morning. So did the SJRA’s release rate by 3,000 cubic feet per second. It is now down to 16,500 CFS at noon.

Spring Creek: 

Spring creek has crested and fallen rapidly in the headwaters to SH 249 overnight. The middle and lower portion of the creek is cresting and will fall today. Minor flooding along the creek will subside.

Upper Cypress Creek: 

Run-off from Waller County has finally reached upper Cypress Creek with flooding now in progress at Sharp Road. The creek is slowly rising and will crest later today, but remain above bankfull into tonight. Flooding of portions of Sharp Rd is ongoing and will continue. No flooding is expected downstream of Katy Hockley where the capacity of the creek increases.

West Fork of the San Jacinto River (Lake Conroe to SH 99)

The river has crested overnight and is starting to fall, but remains above major flood levels with widespread impacts ongoing. Water levels will be decreasing slowly today and then faster into the weekend.

West Fork of the San Jacinto River (US 59 to Lake Houston):

The river began a secondary rise overnight and it is continuing this morning with a long duration crest later today into Saturday around 52.5ft.

Jeff Lindner

The US 59 turn arounds under the US 59 bridge crossing are under water and will be flooded well into the weekend.

Several streets on the north bank of the river are flooded including Lakeshore, Northshore, River Bend, and Lake Point. The majority of the flooding will occur south of Hamblen Rd…although a few location north of Hamblen could see high water. The few structures in this area are elevated and are cut-off into the weekend as water levels remain elevated.

Large portions of the Kingwood Golf course are/will be flooded. At these levels back water will also begin to effect tributary drainage channels into the river and higher than normal water is likely along these tributaries. No flooding of homes is expected in Kingwood. See inundation map below.

West Fork inundation map in Humble/Kingwood area as of 11am 1/26/24

Note: There is about a 6.0 ft difference in the water surface elevation between US 59 and West Lake Houston Pkwy. We are NOT going to get to 52.5ft at W Lake Houston Pkwy…we will see levels between 46.0-47.0 ft at crest.  

East Fork of the San Jacinto River:    

The river rose 6-8 ft overnight from Plum Grove to New Caney with widespread low land flooding along the river in progress from above Plum Grove to Lake Houston.

East Fork at FM1485. As of 11 am, the river was still above 68 feet.

FM 1485 west of the river bridge is now flooded and will be impassable for an extended period of time. Additionally, some roads on the west side of the river just downstream of FM 1485 will be flooded and elevated structures cut-off. Elevated structures downstream on the east river bank off River Terrace Rd will be cut-off. The river is forecasted to remain well above flood stage through the weekend.

Here are two inundation maps from Harris County’s Flood Warning System as of 11 am on 1/26/24.

If you live in an area not shown here, go to the interactive map, click on “inundation” in the left control panel, and scroll the map to your location.

Lake Houston: 

High flows are moving through Lake Houston…the total inflow into the Lake from all combined run-off sources this morning was 67,580 cfs with a total discharge of 50,878 over the spillway and through the tainter gates.

Since the inflow is still greater than the outflow the lake level will still rise some today. Water levels throughout the lake are elevated and above the bulkheads and docks at several locations.

Lower San Jacinto River below Lake Houston: 

The river is rising with minor flooding now ongoing at Sheldon (HWY 90). Minor to moderate flooding is forecasted along the river from below Lake Houston to Galveston Bay.

Low lying areas of Sheldon, Banana Bend, Highland Shores, and Rio Villa will experience flooding of roadways and may become cut-off (Rio Villa). Higher than normal flows will impact vessel traffic around I-10 and vessels should be properly secured for a period of prolonged increased flows and high water levels.

The river will peak between 6.0-8.0 ft at Rio Villa Saturday. This area should be prepared for rising water today and potentially being cut-off as the water overtops Wallisville Rd.

Trinity River: 

Major flooding is forecasted from below Lake Livingston to Goodrich and near Liberty. Some homes below the lake will be flooded. Several subdivisions will be cut-off around Liberty and at the current forecasted levels…widespread extensive flooding over portions of Liberty County near the river and its tributaries can be expected.

For Current Information at Any Time

Current water levels and inundation can be found at www.harriscountyfws.org

River forecast can be found at National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/25/2024 based on information from Jeff Lindner

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