Tag Archive for: Ford Road

Today, We Passed the Record for All-Time Wettest May By a Wide Margin

At least if you go by the gage at my house. With six days left in the month, the Lake Houston Area has already broken the record for the all time wettest May. The official gage, of course, is at Bush Intercontinental Airport, but the NWS doesn’t release monthly data until the month is over.

This afternoon, my back yard rain gage recorded 17.24 inches for May. The previous record was 14.39 inches set in 1970. (See chart below.) That’s a 20% increase! With more rain on the way tonight and later this week.

From National Weather Service.

Effect on Area Streets

We also recorded 4.11 inches this afternoon in a four-hour period. That’s pushing the limits of storm drains. And predictably, people reported street flooding all over the area.

Ford Road in Porter on 5/24/2021 after 4 inches of rain in 4 hours. Photo courtesy of Nicole Black-Rudolph. Ford Road is one of the main evacuation routes from Kingwood when Northpark and Kingwood Drives are cut off by high water. Now upstream development is flooding it too.
Photo of street flooding in Atascocita, courtesy of Jennifer Zorn. Atascocita received more than 7 inches of rain in a 3-4 hour period.according to television news reports tonight. That qualifies as approximately a 50-year rain.
The City’s long-running sewer repair project in Kingwood Lakes has created a dam across the main lake, artificially raising the water level. Photo courtesy of Anna Mitchell.

Flash Flood Watch Till 9PM

A flash flood watch remains in effect for the Houston area until 9pm tonight. The four inches that fells this afternoon in about 4 hours rates as about a 5-year rain. Last weeks 5.5 inches in a little more than 3 hours was a 10-year rain. No wonder we’ve had the wettest May!

It’s important to remember that these statistics are averages. Just because you get a ten-year rain one week does NOT mean you are immune to another for 9.99 more years.

Effect of Five-Year Rain on Bens Branch

Before the recent rehabilitation project on Ben’s Branch, parts of this channel were down to a two-year level of service. Below, you can see how it handled a 5-year rain today. Room to spare. Quite an improvement for a maintenance project!

Looking downstream over Bens Branch toward Kingwood Town Center. Photo taken 5.24.21.
Looking downstream toward Lake Houston along Ben’s Branch.
Where Ben’s Branch crosses under Kingwood Drive, the City has yet to work out some kinks. Harris County Flood Control District does not maintain under City bridges. In fairness to the City, the Bens Branch rehab project was completed just last month.

Overall, ditches and streams in Kingwood seem to be within their banks.

Wider-Area Stream and Lake Report

However, warning signs are popping up all around the Lake Houston Area.

Harris County Flood Warning System 5.24.21 at 7PM.

At this hour, Lake Conroe seems under control. Luckily, the highest rainfall totals in the Lake Conroe area today were less than one inch.

But Lake Houston is approaching two feet above normal despite constant releases by the Coast Water Authority.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/24/21 with thanks to Nicole Black-Rudolph and Jennifer Zorn.

1364 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Humble ISD Constructing Transportation Facility Next to Woodridge Village

In 2018, voters approved an Humble ISD school bond that included a new northern transportation center. The 11.7-acre center is currently under construction at 24755 Ford Road, directly across the street from the new construction entrance for Woodridge Village. Concerned residents wonder whether the extra acreage could make flooding worse.

Source: Montgomery County Appraisal District

Humble ISD says the target opening date for the new transportation center is 2021. Having an additional transportation center will save an estimated $2 million in operating costs, they say, due to shorter routes and improved response times.

Transportation Centers Use Lots of Concrete

This video shows what the old bus center looks like. Lots of concrete! It is a giant parking lot. But the District does have two small detention ponds for the 29-acre site (see below).

Old Humble ISD transportation center at Will Clayton and Wilson. Note detention ponds and bottom and right of photo. Source: Google Earth.

Note that the old site is in Harris County and the new one is just across the county line in Montgomery County which has more lax regulations.

Residents Question Whether Site Will Add to Flooding

There is some good news, however. According to USGS, there were no wetlands on this site. Nor does FloodFactor.com for FEMA show that the Transportation Center is any danger of flooding, unlike its neighbor, Woodridge Village, to the west.

New Transportation Center property is by red pin. Woodridge Village is to left, across Ford Road. Source: FloodFactor.com.

Some residents have questioned whether the new transportation center will add to their flood woes. That’s unclear. It depends on whether the District puts detention ponds on the site.

Construction Photos As of 6/16/2020

Recent construction photos below suggest that they will, but the District has not yet responded to a request for a drainage analysis and site plan. See the status of construction below. All photos taken on 6/16/2020.

The cleared space on the right is the northeastern section of Woodridge Village. The one in the upper left by the cell tower is the new Humble ISD transportation center. Looking southeast toward Lake Houston in background.
Tighter shot of new transportation center shows clearing is complete. Area between cell tower and top corner looks like it could become a detention pond.
Even closer shot shows them laying stormwater sewers toward back corner.
Close shot of drain pipe. From the size, it looks as though they expect a lot of runoff.
It also looks like they are pouring a concrete bed for the pipe.

New Ag Barn Just Blocks Away

The District’s new ag barn will also be in the same vicinity, about two blocks south – right where Ford Road turns into Mills Branch Road. During the last bond election, shortly after Harvey, the District decided to relocate the ag barn from Deer Ridge Park for the safety of students and animals.

The District has just started clearing land for that project.

The high rate of development in this area makes it imperative that everyone adheres to drainage best practices to prevent flooding. As more information about these and other projects becomes available, I will post it.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/2/2020

1038 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 286 since Imelda