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Over the River and Through the Dune, To Grandmother’s House We Dredge…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a sound could be heard, except for the distant thrum of Great Lakes’ Dredge #2. After muscling through the giant 12-foot sand dune at River Grove Park, the dredge has moved downriver. Next, it will attack the triangular dune south of Kingwood Country Club.

Next up, the giant triangular sand bar south of the Kingwood Country Club. This bar was deposited during Harvey and blocks the entire river.

Before Prep, Note Vegetation around Dune

As of about 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the dredge had not quite reached the bar. Meanwhile, a backhoe prepped the bar by removing vegetation that grew up around it since Hurricane Harvey.

Vegetation around edges of the bar can get stuck in the teeth of the dredge’s cutter head and slow it down.

The shot above shows the bar from the river in October before any prep work. Vegetation like you see around the edges can get caught in the cutter head or lodged in the pipeline. That impairs productivity. Work must stop as crews manually pick vegetation from the teeth of the cutter head.

After Prep, Note Missing Vegetation

On Christmas Eve around 2 p.m., the scene looked like this (see below). Notice how the backhoe removed vegetation from the margins of the dune. I shot the photo below with a long telephoto lens from a half mile away in River Grove Park. The backhoe provides a sense of scale in this photo that shows just how much sand Harvey deposited virtually overnight!

Note missing vegetation around edge of dune with backhoe. Also note size of dune!

Today marks Day 483 since Hurricane Harvey. The length of time it takes to remediate flooding issues like this underscores the need for legislation that reduces sedimentation from sand mines upstream.

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good legislative fight! Even the sand miners. We don’t want to put them out of business. We just want them to mine outside of the floodway, so we will remain safer.

Posted by Bob Rehak on December 25, 2018

483 Days since Hurricane Harvey