Fine Print: Montgomery County Engineer Disclaimed Responsibility for Impact of Woodridge on Upstream and Downstream Drainage
A close reading of the Woodridge Village Section One plat shows that the Montgomery County engineer disclaimed any responsibility for the impact of Woodridge Village both upstream and downstream, in fact, anywhere in the watershed. At the same time, the county engineer certified that the plans developed by LJA Engineering met all the requirements of Montgomery County Commissioners. See below.
Gaps in Regulations
On May 7th, at least 196 homes flooded downstream of Woodridge Village. Many other homes in Porter also flooded on the upstream side of the subdivision.
This raises the question of whether Montgomery County floodplain regulations are sufficient to protect neighboring residents.
To complicate matters, the flooding happened before construction of several detention ponds – despite the fact that the land near the area that flooded had been clearcut for more than six months. However…
According to Montgomery County’s Floodplain Administrator, County regulations look only at pre- and post-construction runoff rates. They do not address anything that happens during construction.
Montgomery County has no regulations that dictate the sequence of construction. For instance, could building detention ponds on one section of land before clearcutting another have reduced flood risk and averted disaster?
Need for More Consistency to Protect Neighbors
I have previously posted about the differences in floodplain building regulations in various jurisdictions. These differences cause confusion for residents and property owners. They may feel protected when builders ten feet away on the other side of a county or city line play by an entirely different set of rules.
These gaps in regulation provide a good example of why the State of Texas should step in and bring some uniformity to guidelines. We need sensible regulations that enable growth without endangering downstream residents.
The thoughts in this post represent my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the great State of Texas.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/24/2019
664 Days since Hurricane Harvey