In the 2+ years since Hurricane Harvey, many East Fork residents complained that the West Fork was getting all the media attention and remediation dollars. Imelda may have just changed that narrative. An East Fork Mouth Bar rapidly increased in size during the storm.
Rapid Increase in Sedimentation Between Royal Shores and Luce Bayou
Between Luce Bayou and Royal Shores, Josh Alberson, an East Fork resident and boater says the channel recently measured as much as 18 feet deep. Last weekend, when checking cross-sections on the depth finder of his jet boat, the deepest part of the channel measured three to four feet in that same area. Here’s what it looks like from a helicopter pointing south toward Lake Houston and the FM1960 Bridge.
It’s clear that portions of these bars preceded Imelda, just as portions of the West Fork Mouth Bar preceded Harvey. You can tell that by the vegetation. However, you can also see the immense recent growth of these bars in the areas without vegetation.
Shots taken from the boat show vast expanses of sand now clogging the East Fork.
Hundreds, Possibly Thousands of Trees Down
Giant Sand Bars Now Filling More than Half of River
Fourth Breach Discovered at Sand Mine
Charlie Fahrmeier discovered yet another breach at the mine on Monday; this one partial.
Role of Sand Mine Under Investigation
Dan Huberty today announced that Ken Paxton, the state attorney general, has agreed to investigate the Triple PG mine. A spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said investigators were headed to the site today. The TCEQ has also launched an investigation.
Clearly, the mine is not responsible for all of the sand in the river. But its location in TWO floodways, four possible breaches, and loss of a major portion of its stockpile indicate it played some role in the massive sedimentation.
I doubt this meets the TCEQ requirements for substantial repairs.
Whether these repairs were intended to fail or whether the operator didn’t care if they failed, the result was the same. More sand in the river. And more gunk in your drinking water supply.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/2/2019 with thanks to Josh Alberson and Charlie Fahrmeier.
764 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 13 since Imelda
All thoughts expressed in this post represent my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.