Beginning March 27, 2018, the City of Houston lowered the level of Lake Houston in anticipation of flash flooding. The storm hit Kingwood in the afternoon of the 28th and was over by the morning of the 29th According to Harris County Flood Control rain gages, we received 2.64 inches of rain at the Kingwood Country Club and 3.36 inches at the US59 bridge. Areas upstream received as much as 5.5 inches. An average across the watershed was close to 4.
Thank you, Dave Martin and Sylvester Turner!
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Council Member Dave Martin should be congratulated on their decision to lower Lake Houston. Some low-lying areas like River Grove Park flooded. However, as of this writing, I’m not aware of any homes that flooded. Surely there would have been major property damage, given all the siltation from Hurricane Harvey, had the lake been at its normal level.
How the rain affected different parts of Kingwood
The underpass at the 59 bridge was closed due to high water early in the morning on the 29th. This is a perennial choke point. It has gotten worse since Harvey.
At Scenic Shores in Kings Point, the river was well within its banks thanks to the decision to lower the lake.
How much was it lowered? 2.5 feet according to the Coastal Water Authority.
Below is a photo taken last night in Kingwood Greens. It shows vast expanses of sand before the rain started. There were no reports of flooding in Kingwood Greens today, again, thanks in large part to the decision to lower the lake before the storm.
In Kings Lake Estates on the south side of the San Jacinto River, across from Kingwood Greens, the water got close. A resident sent this pic.
The homeowner above stated, “I am literally stunned how high the water is at my property right now even though the lake level was extremely low only 24 hours ago….and only after a modest rain storm last night.” To underscore the need to begin dredging immediately, he added, “This has NEVER happened before with such a minor rain event!”
Worst Flooding At River Grove Park
River Grove still has that massive sand bar blocking the drainage ditch. Water backed up behind that and flooded the park – for the second time within a month! See four images below.
As of 2:30 PM on March 29th, the disc golf course, playing fields, boat dock area and boardwalk at River Grove were totally under water. Additionally, about a third of the parking lot was under water and the flood level was continuing to rise.
All in all though, we lucked out with this storm largely because of the decision to lower the lake. Without that, flooding would have been much worse.
Anxiously Awaiting Dredging
Yesterday, the county approved money to begin dredging this area. Hopefully that will help cure the flooding woes at River Grove and give us a great margin of safety elsewhere.
As bad as these pictures look, about three weeks ago, on one-fifth the amount of rain that we received last night, the flooding was far worse. Before Harvey and the giant sand blockage at the base of the drainage ditch, River Grove could take twice as much rain without this much flooding.
As the resident who owned the gazebo above said, “With no major dredging, Kingwood residents better start praying every single day that we don’t get a tropical storm or even minor hurricane. We need dredging SOON!”
Posted by Bob Rehak on March 29, 2018
212 days since Hurricane Harvey
On March 27, 2018, Houston City Council Member Dave Martin’s office issued a press release about an adjustment to the level of Lake Houston that would reduce the likelihood of flooding. Today, March 28, 2018, this office released this clarification on how much the level would be lowered and for how long.
Today, District E Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, who has been working tirelessly on flood issues since Hurricane Harvey, issued the following press release. It announces the lowering of Lake Houston on a long-term basis which should help reduce the danger of flooding by giving the watershed more capacity to absorb heavy rains. This is welcome news, especially as hurricane season approaches.
The full text of the press release follows. It contains updates on other related issues including a vote on dredging today in Harris County commissioner’s court. Note the comment about the extent of dredging. The program they are considering stops at West Lake Houston Parkway. That will probably not be welcome news for people in Kingwood Greens, Town Center, Kings Harbor, Fosters Mill and Kings Point. Hopefully, this is just the start of a more extensive dredging program.