Flood Notes: Highlights of Current Happenings
Welcome to Flood Notes. So much has been happening lately on the flood front, it’s hard to keep up with it all. So this post will be a digest of things that affect flooding on the local, state and national fronts.
TCEQ Sand Mine Rule Making
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held a stakeholder meeting yesterday about sand mines in the San Jacinto River watershed. TCEQ intends to post video of the meeting as well as stakeholder presentations here, but they have not yet done so. In the meantime, those who wish to see a summary of the meeting can find one here. And those who wish to make public comments can do so by emailing Outreach@tceq.texas.gov.
Humble ISD North Transportation Center Construction Update
We have had ideal construction weather in the last month and contractors at HISD’s north transportation center on Ford Road in Porter had made a lot of progress. They have completed the detention pond. More than half the remaining site is covered with concrete parking lots. And it looks as if the foundation for a building has also been poured. Humble ISD anticipates shorter routes for half the district will save taxpayers $2 million per year. The District hopes to open the Center in 2021.
This massive development in Liberty County has turned into the world’s largest trailer park. The developer of Colony Ridge keeps expanding at a record clip. Perhaps he’s anticipating a sales boom when the Grand Parkway creates better access. At the moment, he appears to be cutting and burning another 3000 acres. Nearby Plum Grove residents have complained about the smoke.
Plum Grove residents who live next to Colony Ridge also report the strong smell of sewage and chlorine coming from a new sewage treatment facility along Maple Branch a quarter to a half mile away. TCEQ fined the company that provides these services not long ago for the illegal discharge of 48,000 gallons of raw sewage into the same creek from a lift station.
Michael Shrader, a Plum Grove resident who lives adjacent to Maple Branch, has affectionately renamed it Chlorine Creek.
HUD Approves New GLO Plans for Disaster Funding
On 11/4, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved two state action plans detailing the distribution and eligible uses of more than $285 million. The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds will assist in long-term recovery efforts following severe flooding in 2018 and 2019 in South and Southeast Texas. To view the action plans, please visit recovery.texas.gov/action-plans. To expedite the recovery process, the GLO will directly administer and oversee the funds.
TWDB Accepting FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Requests
This one affects government officials in Cities, Counties, Special Districts, etc.. FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program provides federal funding to help communities pay for cost-effective ways to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to flood prone structures that are insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. FMA program funds can be used for planning and projects. The deadline to apply to the Texas Water Development Board is December 1, 2020. For more information, please visit www.twdb.texas.gov/flood/grant/fma.asp.
FEMA Program Helps Enforce Building Codes, Floodplain Management
FEMA announced the release of a policy to provide communities with resources to enforce building codes and floodplain management following a major disaster declaration. The “Building Code and Floodplain Management Administration and Enforcement” policy can provide funding for the first 180 days following a major declaration for:
- Costs associated with extra hires or contracted support
- Reviewing and processing building permits and occupancy and compliance certificates
- Conducting building inspections and initial substantial damage field surveys
- Reviewing disaster-related development in the floodplain
- Providing educational services to the public on floodplain requirements.
The policy is a result of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, Section 1206. This policy applies to all major disaster declarations declared on or after August 1, 2017.
Climatologist Explains La Niña’s Impact on Texas
This interesting article in the TWDBs Texas Water Newsroom explains how La Niña can bring both droughts and hurricanes to Texas. It’s a fascinating, well written article.
Texas Coastal Study
Remember to sign up for one of the Army Corps presentations on the Texas Coastal Study virtual public meetings. Even if you live inland, the region’s economy depends on protecting the infrastructure ringing Galveston Bay.
Goodbye to Eta
CBS aired a chilling story tonight about the floods brought by Hurricane Eta. The storm dumped up to 7 inches of rain on the Carolinas. It washed out roads and bridges. In fact, a reporter was standing on one bridge when pieces of it started to fall into the raging floodwater. Very dramatic footage if you missed it.
Eta nearly tied Gordon for the longest hurricane on record. Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, says that had the storm lasted until tomorrow, it would have taken the longevity record.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/12/2020
1171 Days since Hurricane Harvey
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.