Tag Archive for: walden on lake houston

HCFCD Launches Channel Repair Projects in Walden on Lake Houston and Kingwood

Yesterday, a reader, Donna Hanna Dewhirst, sent me pictures of a dredging operation beginning in the channel that cuts through Walden on Lake Houston. Today, I photographed it from the air.

Walden Project Kicks Off

That’s the Walden Mouth Bar in the distance. So far, though, dredging activity has focused upstream near the country club.
HCFCD classifies the project as a repair, though it is not yet listed on HCFCD’s repair page for this area. Photo by Donna Hannah Dewhirst.
De-watering the spoils before transport. Photo by Donna Hannah Dewhirst.

Typically, in a project with wet dirt like this, contractors “de-water” it by letting it drain on the banks for a while. Once dry, they haul it away. HCFCD sent dirt from Ben’s Branch to a cleaning facility to ensure they weren’t transporting any dangerous bacteria or organisms living in the mud. From there, it’s reused in landscaping and other projects.

Reverse angle, looking upstream toward excavation in background on left.

Reader Jeff Bayless volunteered, “This is called Rogers Gully and drains a large part of Atascocita. This is actually the 2nd time they have removed sediment from this location. They finished the first round right before Imelda and lined the banks with riprap and fresh top soil further upstream all the way to Framingham Road. Had it looking good then Imelda hit and washed all their new soil back into the downstream parts by the County Club. This also made the mouthbar in the lake larger and shallower. My fear with the large mouthbar is if Atascocita gets a Kingwood May 7 type flash flood, the mouthbar will push drainage water into the homes along this gully. Hopefully the mouthbar removal is a real project that will happen before flooding occurs.”

Series of Ditch Repairs Begins in Kingwood

Work on Ben’s Branch is now approximately 50% complete, according to Beth Walters of HCFCD.

Meanwhile, more channel repairs have started in Kingwood within the last few weeks. They consist primarily of erosion and outfall pipe repairs. Repairs are so numerous, HCFCD had to group them into a a series of smaller projects to expedite bidding and repairs. The project include:

  • G103-41-00-X008: Two damage sites (5622 and 5622A) consisting of slope erosion, toe line repair, and channel scour.
  • G103-38-00-X020: Three damage sites (5416, 5680, and 5682) consisting of bank sloughing and erosion repair.
  • G103-38-01-X014: A series of voids on the southern side of the channel. One void is very large and the concrete paving has begun buckling. Another void is above an outfall pipe that will need to be replaced. Access is limited and encroachments are present.
  • G103-38-00-X021: Slope erosion has progressed and will eventually begin to affect the concrete channel lining. Also, some sediment has built-up and needs to be removed.
  • G103-38-01-X010: One damage site consisting of slope erosion.

To see the locations of these channels, zoom waaaaay in on the map.

Funding for most of these repairs comes from NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), which is part of the US Department of Agriculture.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/13/2020 with photos from Donna Hannah Dewhirst

899 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Donna Dewhirst’s Harvey Experience

At its Feb. 20 board meeting, the San Jacinto River Authority will decide whether to continue lowering Lake Conroe temporarily until other flood mitigation measures can be put in place. Before then, Donna Dewhirst, a resident of Walden on Lake Houston, wanted to share some reminders of the damage that Harvey and the 80,000 CFS Lake Conroe release inflicted on the Lake Houston area.

A Horror Story in Pictures

Dewhirst’s outdoor kitchen took on knee-deep water. In the background, that’s the second story of her boat dock.
As water started to subside, Dewhirst found trees and other debris lodged in her dock. The flood destroyed her boat.
A 70-foot surprise became visible when floodwaters receded. The flood also destroyed Dewhirst’s boat.
The railroad bridge just down from her caught another boat swept away in the flood.

“The water reached my back porch at the foundation of my home, but amazingly my house and garage got no water in them,” said Dewhirst.

Dewhirst feels lucky.
Her neighbors less so.
As water receded, the extent of flooding became more apparent.

“It was horrific,” said Dewhirst. “But we were lucky compared to others. I planned returning to a flooded home, but God of Heaven spared me. My son in law had put Flex Seal on the back doors and taped it with duct tape a few feet up. I’m sure that helped. But honestly from the water line on the house, it truly was a sheer miracle we didn’t flood.”

Can It Be Averted In the Future?

Aerial view of Aquatic Drive on Walden on Lake Houston after the Conroe release. Dewhirst believes this photo came from Greg Toole. If not, please let me know. I will correct the credit or remove the image if the author wishes.

If lowering Lake Conroe temporarily until other flood mitigation measures can be put in place, such as additional flood gates on the Lake Houston dam, I’m all for it.

For more information about that program and how to make your voice heard, visit the Lake Lowering page on this web site.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/5/2020

890 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 15 days before the SJRA decision