Harris County Flood Control tomorrow will ask the Harris County Commissioners Court tomorrow to approve money for a Kingwood-wide drainage assessment. One of the reasons why is shown below: trees that have fallen into Taylor Gulley since the last time someone from Flood Control reviewed it. That underscores the need for every community association to start a flood committee. With more eyes on drainage, we might be able to keep problems such as these at a sub-acute level and help prevent flooding from clogged ditches.
Thank You, Chris Kalman
Chris Kalman of Woodstream Village sent these pictures to Flood Control and to me last Friday. They show trees that fell into Taylor Gulley during the three huge storms early last month.
Blockages, such as these, can quickly turn into even bigger blockages when they catch additional trees and debris swept downstream in floods. When blockages become big enough, they can back water up into neighborhoods.
Kudos to Chris for communicating these problems (and their locations) to Harris County Flood Control. HCFCD can’t be everywhere all the time; they have 2500 miles of natural streams and man-made ditches to patrol. They need the help of residents to report problems like these so that they can respond in a timely way.
Photographs like Chris’ help Flood Control find and recognize the problems when workers visit the site. After all, in print, one downed tree sounds a lot like another. Photos also help Flood Control visualize the number of people and type of equipment to bring. In addition, Chris provided them with a map.
Commissioners Court To Consider Kingwood Drainage Assessment Project
As a result of the efforts by people like Chris and Barbara Hillburn of Kingwood Lakes who has been beating the drum to improve internal drainage, HCFCD has an item on the Commissioners Court agenda for tomorrow. Item 2.a.14 on page 10 is a request for authorization to negotiate with the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority to start HCFCD Bond Project F-14. It includes a drainage analysis of all open channels in the Kingwood area.
Matt Zeve, deputy executive director of the Flood Control District is adding an evaluation of Taylor Gully and the May storm event to the scope of work for this project.
If you are interested, any Harris County resident can sign up to speak on items on the Court agenda.
The Lake Houston area has more trees than most other parts of town. We definitely need this.
Start a Flood Committee in Your CA
Also, please urge your community association to start a “flood committee” that A) periodically checks creeks and ditches for problems and B) reports them. Often people see problems but don’t recognize them as such. Or they recognize them, but assume someone else reported them already. That’s why, in my opinion, we need to set up a system for reporting problems such as these.
An organization like KSA could coordinate the flood committees of each CA. They could then compile a master list of problems so that Flood Control could better schedule and prioritize clearing and ditch restoration efforts. It would be much more efficient for Flood Control to deal with one entity rather than thousands of individuals, many of whom might duplicate each other’s efforts. Also, as Chris discovered, sometimes it’s difficult to know whom to email. But a group that manages reporting on a regular basis could quickly learn the proper channels.
If your neighbors, CA or trail association tries to remove such blockages, remember this. Flood Control typically cuts trees like the one above into two foot sections. Two feet is small enough to float through culverts in the next flood without getting stuck.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/3/2019 with photos by Chris Kalman
643 Days after Hurricane Harvey