Tag Archive for: Taylor Gulley

HCFCD Wraps Up Taylor Gully Project Between Rustling Elms and County Line

This week, Harris County Flood Control is completing work on a large section of Taylor Gully between Rustling Elms and the Harris/Montgomery County line. Said Beth Walters of the Flood Control District, “Serco (the contractor) is replacing an outfall pipe Tuesday; this work should be complete in a few days. This is the last pipe to be replaced, and then all major work from Rustling Elms upstream to the county line will be completed.” The work began about two months ago.

Taylor Gully Images from Jeff Miller

Flood Control contractors inspect the old, rusted outfall pipe near Rustling Elms last week. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Reverse angle shows existing pipe before replacement. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Contractors were clearing turtles and fish from the old manhole.
Last weekend, new, 6-foot replacement pipe was standing by, ready for Taylor Gully installation. Photo taken by Jeff Miller.
New pipe fully installed. Photo taken 9/11 by Jeff Miller.
Excess dirt has been removed, ditch excavated, backslope interceptor swales restored, banks smoothed, and new backslope drains installed. Ready for the severe weather test. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.

Small Amount of Clean Up Work Remains

Miller reported addition excavation work happening this morning near Rustling Elms on Taylor Gully.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller of additional cleanup work between Rustling Elms and Bassingham.

Once again, a shout-out to Barbara Hilburn who raised the alarm about clogged ditches and beat that drum for more than a year until projects like this began.

Posted by Bob Rehak with Images and Reporting from Jeff Miller

743 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Before-After Shots of Clean-Out: HCFCD Restoring Conveyance of Taylor Gully In Elm Grove

Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is nearing completion of its project to clean out Taylor Gully. The project will restore the ditch’s conveyance through Elm Grove. The ditch had become clogged due, in large part, to erosion from months of clear-cutting and construction activities immediately upstream in the new Woodridge Village development.

After the Flood, but Before the Clean-Out

Below, several shots taken shortly after the May 7th flood.

Erosion on Woodridge Village property. Concrete culvert in background is entrance to Taylor Gully on Harris County side of Montgomery County Line.
Another shot of erosion leading to culvert, visible in upper right.
Looking north at same culvert from Harris County side of county line.
Flood debris carried downstream into Elm Grove portion of Taylor Gully
Shot taken at end of May looking south along Taylor Gully. Three weeks after the May 7 flood.

After the Clean-Out

What a difference some backhoes and bulldozers can make!

Looking south from same area today, but from opposite side of Gully. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Re-contoured backslope swale with new culvert. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Newly cleared Taylor Gulley Backslope Swale near the homes that flooded in North Kingwood Forest. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.
Brand new backslope interceptor structure and improved swale by HCFCD located just north of Creek Manor where it dead ends into Taylor Gulley. Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller.

These backslope interceptor swales reduce erosion, provide additional floodwater storage, and help prevent floodwaters from impacting structures.

One Month From Statistical Peak of Hurricane Season

Today is one month from the peak of hurricane season – September 11. Hundreds of people in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest will have an additional margin of safety thanks to HCFCD’s Taylor Gully project. Despite three months of near-perfect construction weather, Perry Homes’ contractors have only completed two of five planned detention ponds upstream. More on the construction status of Woodridge Village in my next post.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/11/2019 with photography from Jeff Miller

712 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 3 months + 4 days since the May 7th flood

Kingwood Drainage Assessment on Commissioners Court Agenda Tuesday and Why We Need More Systematic Reporting

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.

This and next four photos taken on Taylor Gulley near White Oak Creek. All photos courtesy of Chris Kalman.

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.

Two-foot Sections

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

Correction on Post about Ben’s Branch and Taylor Gulley

My apologies. On Wednesday, I posted about easements along Ben’s Branch and Taylor Gulley. The story said that the City of Houston had finally sent long-awaiting documents to Harris County Flood Control that would allow the County to assume maintenance of those areas. It was based on assurances from a source at the City that the documents had finally been sent to the County.

However, different documents actually arrived at the County. They covered a small portion of Taylor Gulley and a small drainage ditch in King’s Forest that parallels Valley Manor west of Kingwood High School.

Like many of the drainage ditches in Kingwood, after annexation, this ditch west of Valley Manor and Kingwood High School fell into a maintenance black hole. The County has now received an easement from the City of Houston that will allow it to maintain the ditch.

Here are maps of the two areas for which documentation has actually been sent to Harris County:

My source at the City now says, “I am working with the legal team to have a full update on all the outstanding channels as well as have requested the expedited completion of Bens Branch.”

To see an interactive map of Harris County drainage projects in Kingwood, go to the Harris County Flood Control District website and see the Kingwood section.

Posted by Bob Rehak on September 7, 2018

374 Days since Hurricane Harvey