In tomorrow’s Harris County Commissioners’ Court meeting, county leaders will discuss, in executive session, the possibility of purchasing Woodridge Village land from Perry Homes. The idea: to build a large detention basin with sufficient capacity to keep Elm Grove from flooding again.
If you have not yet called or written commissioners and the county judge, please do so. The outcome of this meeting will likely impact home values in the affected and surrounding areas for years to come. Here are points you could mention:
Key Points to Emphasize
- Elm Grove never flooded before Perry Homes clearcut the area immediately upstream called Woodridge Village.
- Then Elm Grove flooded twice in five months, on May 7th and September 19th, 2019. Approximately two hundred homes flooded in May. Two or three times that number flooded in September.
- The flooding was not due to normal street flooding or overflow from Taylor Gully. Overland sheet flow from Woodridge Village caused it.
- Clearcutting increased the amount and rate of runoff in both storms so that it accumulated at the county line culvert quickly and overflowed into Elm Grove streets.
- Perry funneled the water toward the areas that flooded.
- Perry bought the land in January of 2018. After two years and three months, they still have only constructed 23% of the promised detention pond capacity.
- Even that capacity is undersized by approximately 40% because Perry contractors used pre-Atlas 14 rainfall statistics in their computer modeling.
- The water table is much higher than Perry anticipated. Their 15-foot deep detention basin is constantly about one-third filled with water, reducing detention capacity even more.
- About a quarter to a third of the site was previously wetlands. Standing water there has not evaporated for months.
- This land will probably never be safe for homebuilding.
- If Harris County doesn’t buy it and convert it into a detention basin, Elm Grove is likely to flood again.
- The recurrent flooding and uncertainty have caused many families to flee the affected area already. Homes are selling for 50 cents on the dollar. Many homes remain vacant and rotting. Many who are left can’t afford to move.
- It’s becoming a public-health and mental-health issue at this point. People are reluctant to repair their homes until they are certain of mitigation that has a chance to succeed.
- Be positive. Harris County didn’t cause this problem.
- Don’t flame. Honey attracts more bees than vinegar.
- Don’t demand. They have many problems to solve.
- Specify that this relates to Item IV on the agenda for 4/07/20. It relates to a request by Commissioner Cagle to discuss the purchase of real property in the Elm Grove area needed for flood control purposes.
Of the four other votes on the Court, Cagle needs commitments from two to make this happen. Steve Radack, Precinct 3 Commissioner; Lina Hidalgo, County Judge; and Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2 Commissioner are the most likely supporters.
Who/How to Contact
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo
- Phone: 713-274-7000 or (713) 755-8379
- Email: email@example.com
Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2
- Phone: 713-755-6220 or 713-274-2222
- Email via web form.
Commissioner Steve Radack, Precinct 3
- Phone: (713) 755-6306
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please call or write NOW. The meeting is tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.!
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can sign up to speak without actually going downtown.
To see the meeting online, go to https://www.harriscountytx.gov/Government/Court-Agenda/Court-Videos.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/6/2020
951 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 200 since Imelda