In Chronological Order:

1527 – 2008  Texas Hurricane History

By David Roth of the National Weather Service. Tells the story of 122 major storms to hit Texas.

1994 – Final HCFCD Report on 1994 Storm

The flood of record in the northern part of Harris County until Harvey in 2017. Dropped up to 30″ of rain. Exceeded 500-year flood levels. Water was 12 feet higher than the Lake Houston flood record.

1998 – Final HCFCD Report on 1998 Storm

Slow moving cold front that moved west to east across northern Harris County in November 1998 dropping up to 11 inches of rain. Caused flooding in Cypress, Little Cypress, Willow, Spring, Luce and San Jacinto Watersheds.

2001 – Tropical Storm Allison

Dumped 28 inches of rainfall just northeast of Downtown Houston in a 12-hour period. The costliest tropical storm in US history. Dumped enough rain to meet the needs of the whole US for an entire year.

2008 NHC Reports on Hurricane Ike

Cat 5 storm that blew up off the Texas Coast and came straight up Galveston Bay and Lake Houston. Eye came directly over Kingwood. Wind damage knocked out power for 3 weeks because of trees falling on so many power lines. Dropped up to 18 inches of rain.

2016 – Final HCFCD Tax Day Storm Report

Summarizes the historic and devastating flooding from rainfall that occurred across Harris County late on the evening of the 17th into the 18th of April 2016.

2016 – Final HCFCD Memorial Weekend Storm Report

Summarizes the major flooding from excessive rainfall on May 26-27 over north and northwest Harris County, southern
Montgomery County, and northern Waller County.

2017 – Final HCFCD Harvey Report

Fascinating compendium of flooding statistics from the largest rainfall in the history of North America. 32 pages in total.

2019 – Final HCFCD Tropical Storm Imelda Report

The fourth wettest storm in Texas history when measured by total rainfall, Imelda produced incredible short duration rainfall rates that exceeded Harvey in the 5-, 15-, and 30-minute time periods. And that is the key to understanding why more homes flooded in the 500-year floodplain than the 100-year floodplain. 2019.

2020 – Final HCFCD Tropical Storm Beta Report

Produced up to 14.7 inches of rainfall in a 48 hour period, but frequent breaks limited flooding. Mainly hit south and west sides of Houston area.

2022 – Final HCFCD Report on January 8-9, 2022 Storm

Slow moving cold front that dropped 8.5 inches in 24 hours and spawned numerous tornados along a corridor in northern Harris County.

Bond Updates:

October 2023 Bond Update

November 2022 Bond Update

September 2022 Bond Update

August 2022 Bond Update

June 2022 Bond Update

May 2022 Bond Update

March 2022 Bond Update

December 2021 Bond Update

November 2021 Bond Update

March 2021 Bond Update

Bond Vote Outcome:

KTRK Interactive Map

Pre-Referendum Project Lists:

Project List for Flood Bond as of August 1

Project List for Flood Bond as of July 19

Project List for Flood Bond as of June 29

Watershed-by-watershed list of recommended projects for Harris County’s $2.5 Billion Flood Bond Referendum. Historical versions of this list are preserved so you can see how it evolved as a result of meetings with residents in 23 watersheds. Early voting starts August 8. Final day to vote will be August 25, the anniversary of Harvey.

Official Bond Text:

Final Bond Language

This is what you will actually be voting on. The project list can be changed in the future to give the Flood Control District flexibility to achieve these objectives.

Studies:

Flood Tunnels

HCFCD page with links to studies reporting on different phases.

Kingwood Area Drainage Analysis 2020

Summary of results from the 600-page Kingwood Area Drainage Analysis.

Huffman Area Drainage Analysis 2019

Covers areas east of Lake Houston including East Fork, Luce Bayou and Cedar Bayou watersheds.

Watersheds in Harris County:

Watersheds and Channels Reference Guide. Contains maps of every watershed and channel in Harris County along with indexes and reference numbers. Useful for determining the extent of water upstream from you.

Remembering Hurricane Harvey – Impact and Response in Harris County

52-Page book published by HCFCD in 2018 as impacts of storm became clear. Non-technical. Written and art directed for general audience. Filled with poignant pictures and informative graphics that emotionally and statistically recreate the impact of the storm and our immediate response to it.

Hurricane-Harvey-Rainfall-Event-Presentation_092817

This 82-page presentation by the San Jacinto River Authority discusses the difficulty of forecasting storms, such as Harvey, and lays out the rationale for the steps the San Jacinto River Authority took in releasing water from the Lake Conroe Dam.

Peak Flow Data of San Jacinto and Tributaries During Harvey

This map shows the contribution of various streams to all the water that hit us during Harvey, including from Lake Conroe. It’s based on USGS stream gages and was compiled by the San Jacinto River Authority. All figures expressed as CFS (Cubic Feet per Second).

San Jacinto Watershed: Where All the Water Comes From

This helpful map compiled by Charlie Fahrmeier shows wher e the water comes from that flows past Kingwood and the Upper Lake Houston Area. Charlie outlined all the tributaries of the West Fork of the San Jacinto in red, and all the tributaries of the East Fork in Green.

USGS Report on Peak Streamflows and Flood Inundation Maps

…of Selected Areas in S.E. Texas and Louisiana resulting from Hurricane Harvey. See pages 35 and 36 for maps of the Harris and Montgomery County area. Caution: 10 meg pdf file; may be slow to open.

FEMA Damage Map of Houston. This interactive map shows where damage occurred throughout Houston including Kingwood and surrounding areas. It enables you to see how extensively Harvey damaged your neighborhood compared to others. Note the date: 9/2/17. This was a preliminary assessment and does not show all damage.

SJRA Master Plan Report From 1957 

Contains the history of the SJRA and the objectives originally given to the Agency by state legislators. See Pages 7 and 8.

SJRA Flood Control Planning Study 1985

Includes recommendations for upstream, regional detention along with their benefit/cost ratios at the time. Comparing this to current studies of the same areas dramatizes the need for revising BCR rules.

SJRA Sedimentation Study 2023

Sedimentation in the Upper San Jacinto River Basin has been well documented and is known to impact floodway conveyance capacity. Evaluation of sedimentation in the Upper San Jacinto River Basin, including identification of which sub-watersheds in the basin produce and store the most sediment, prioritization of individual watersheds/locations for improvements, and development of conceptual sedimentation solutions.

San Jacinto River Sediment Removal and Sand Trap Development 2022

By Freese & Nichols. Explores the feasibility of implementing sediment trapping facilities (“sand traps”). The purpose: to remove sediment from the West or East Fork of the San Jacinto River.

FAQs-Related-to-Harvey-and-Lake-Conroe-Dam

An SJRA doc that explains their reasons and timing for opening the floodgates of the Lake Conroe dam during Harvey. Spoiler alert: you may not agree with all their answers, but it’s a good starting point for discussion.

Resolution Establishing Flood Mitigation Division of SJRA

Full text of resolution-07 from 4/26/2018.

Kaaren Cambio’s April 2018 Flood Mitigation Project Update   View SJRA Board Member Kaaren Cambio’s presentation to the April Meeting of the Lake Houston Area Grass Roots Flood Prevention Initiative. It contains updates on the status of numerous flood mitigation projects underway in the San Jacinto watershed.

Problems

10 Sand Mining Practices that Could Help Reduce the Rate of Sedimentation into the San Jacinto River and its Tributaries: A Starting Point for Discussion

By Bob Rehak,  August 1, 2018, Compares actual sand mine practices on the West and East Forks of the San Jacinto to the best management practices around the world. Includes ten recommendations that could reduce the rate of sedimentation if universally followed.

The Case for Expanding the West Fork Dredging Project Scope 

An analysis of West Fork San Jacinto River and Lake Houston Flow Profiles, Bathymetry, Associated Landforms and Impact on Flooding by R.D. Kissling, Tim Garfield and Bob Rehak, July 23, 2018. A 28-page presentation in PDF format. It explains how the river is changing, why it’s crucial to remove the mouth bar, and what will likely happen if we don’t. Illustrated with charts and graphs.

West Fork Sand Stockpiles: Before, During and After Hurricane Harvey

A collection of satellite images from Google Earth showing stockpiles of sand at West Fork sand mines before, during and after Hurricane Harvey. The sequential images show how Harvey (and the release of water from the Lake Conroe dam) reduced stockpiles and moved sand downstream.

Sand Deposits and Flooding along the San Jacinto River By Bob Rehak 2018

An aerial survey, 58 pages long, containing photographs of fresh sand deposits in and along the shores of the San Jacinto River shortly after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. It shows several major blockages of the river and its tributaries with sand reaching into treetops in places.

Sand Deposits and Flooding Condensed by Bob Rehak 2018

Same as above but shorter and focusing on the most severe blockages.

DIG IT by Keith Jordan 2017 

A Kingwood geologist uses his knowledge to put Harvey flooding into a historical context. Contains recommendations to prevent flooding and a suggested timetable for implementation.

SJR Flooding: Cause, Impacts, Potential Solutions by David Seitzinger, PE 2018

A Kingwood resident’s look at chokepoints along the San Jacinto and the breadth of watershed issues from an engineer’s perspective.

2006 Article on San Jacinto Being One of Ten Most Endangered Rivers

…Because of sand mining. While somewhat dated, it’s interesting from a historical perspective. Also note, the problem has only gotten worse since then.

Sand Mining Best Practices, Regulations and Research

Link to a whole page of this website dedicated to cataloging best practices, regulations and research regarding sand mining.

Dredging

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Plans for Dredging

For West Fork of the San Jacinto. Shows where, how wide, and how deep. This is the document that bidders based bids on. However, please note that there have been amendments to this document. The first increased the amount to be dredged by more than 2X. The second made a minor adjustment to expand dredging to a river access point for dredging equipment. Here is the Corps’ West Fork Value Engineering Study from May 7, 2018, that accompanied these plans. Caution: large downloads, may be slow to open because of large numbers of visuals.

The Case for Expanding the West Fork Dredging Project Scope 

Same as listed above under sedimentation problems. An analysis of West Fork San Jacinto River and Lake Houston Flow Profiles, Bathymetry, Associated Landforms and Impact on Flooding by R.D. Kissling, Tim Garfield and Bob Rehak, July 23, 2018. A 28-page presentation in PDF format. It explains how the river is changing, why it’s crucial to remove the mouth bar, and what will likely happen if we don’t. Illustrated with charts and graphs.

Galveston Bay Regional Programmatic Sediment Management Plan,

From March 2010. Posted here at the suggestion of Harris County Flood Control as an example of what really needs to be developed for the San Jacinto Watershed. Think of this as a comprehensive template, not specific recommendations for the San Jac. Why is a long term sediment management plan so important? So governments can budget for it, and not scramble around looking for emergency funding.

Government Surveys and Plans

Brown & Root Regional Flood Protection Study 2000

A 734-page engineering study conducted by Brown & Root after previous record floods in 1994 and 1998. The study examined several different approaches to flood control, including dredging. It found that river sand was suitable for use in construction.

SJRA Sedimentation Study 2023

Sedimentation in the Upper San Jacinto River Basin has been well documented and is known to impact floodway conveyance capacity. Evaluation of sedimentation in the Upper San Jacinto River Basin, including identification of which sub-watersheds in the basin produce and store the most sediment, prioritization of individual watersheds/locations for improvements, and development of conceptual sedimentation solutions.

San Jacinto River Sediment Removal and Sand Trap Development 2022

By Freese & Nichols. Explores the feasibility of implementing sediment trapping facilities (“sand traps”). The purpose: to remove sediment from the West or East Fork of the San Jacinto River.

Volumetric Survey of Lake Houston 2003

Shows almost 12,000 acre/foot loss since previous survey (almost 9% of lake volume). Also shows that majority of sedimentation was upstream from FM1960 bridge, not downstream.

Volumetric and Sedimentation Survey of Lake Houston: 2011

Discusses impact of new methodology on new volume predictions. 45 pages. Shows Lake Houston has lost 25% of its capacity due to sedimentation since construction.

NRCS Report on Soils in Montgomery County

This map shows where the greatest concentrations of sand are in Montgomery County. The NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Blue areas have the highest concentration of sand in the soil and red the lowest.

Government Accounting Office

Report on National Flood Insurance Program and recommended changes.

Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study 2020

Feasibility study of the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries flood risk management system.

Region 6 San Jacinto Flood Planning Group

Recommendations for first state flood plan.

Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Survey, April 5, 2018

This 64-page report was developed by a large coalition of interests representing the entire region. It begins with a discussion of the pros and cons of various strategies in general. Then it looks at strategies that apply to each watershed within the region. Their discussion of recommendations for the San Jacinto Watershed begins on page 48 and continues on page 49. The report also points out that the San Jacinto watershed contains 3% of the region’s population, gets 0% of the budget, and had 14% of the region’s damages. Note: this file is a large download, direct from Google.

Houston at a Crossroads: Reliability and Sustainability in the 21st Century By Jim Blackburn and the James Baker Institute at Rice. Discusses long-term trends affecting the Houston area and how to turn our liabilities into assets for the future. Very high level.

Dave Martin’s April 2018 Flood Mitigation Project Update View Houston City Council Member Dave Martin’s Presentation to the April Meeting of the Lake Houston Area Grass Roots Flood Prevention  Initiative. It contains updates on the status of numerous flood mitigation projects.

2018 FloodWarn Workshop Presentations from 5/1/18 at Kingwood College.  Presentations by: 1) the National Weather Service about how they develop river forecasts and communicate risk; 2) Harris County Flood Control about hydrology in Harris County, warning systems, future enhancements, inundation mapping, and gage system expansion; 3) San Jacinto River Authority about Lake Conroe Dam operation and the release of water during Harvey; 4) and FEMA about  flood risk, hazard mapping and flood insurance.

Freese and Nichols Report on the Effect of Adding Floodgates to Lake Houston. Study finds that additional gates could have reduces flooding during Harvey by up to 1.9 feet.

Press Release from City of Houston and San Jacinto River Authority about TCEQ approval

…of the decision to lower Lake Conroe. See also the text of TCEQ approval letter.

Bill Fowler’s Report on Tax Appraisals and Protests in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey. Delivered at the June, 2018, meeting of the Lake Houston Area Grass Roots Flood Prevention Initiative. PowerPoint format.