Harris County Flood Control District Hurricane Harvey Recover
HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT FOCUSED ON FLOOD RECOVERY
Infrastructure Repairs and Readiness the Top Priority; Hurricane Season Continues through November
Since Hurricane Harvey smashed through nearly every existing national rainfall record and dropped a year’s worth of rain on portions of Harris County over a few days in late August, the Flood Control District has been focused on recovery: clearing debris, assessing and repairing our drainage infrastructure, and reducing the risks of flooding in preparation for the next storm.
We are authorizing emergency repairs at priority sites while conducting a county-wide assessment of all our bayous, creeks, channels and stormwater detention basins. Since before the rain stopped falling, we have:
· Authorized more than $1.5 million for emergency repair construction to date.
· Completed emergency repairs at the Inverness Forest levee in the Cypress Creek watershed of north Harris County.
· Launched construction or design on priority emergency repairs in the Greens Bayou, Brays Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Cypress Creek, Sims Bayou and Horsepen Creek watersheds.
· Hired additional contractors to survey drainage infrastructure damage countywide, and to assist in prioritizing, designing and constructing repairs.
· Allocating $10 million in other available funding to perform Harvey repairs.
· Preparing requests for additional storm-related funding from federal partners such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
We are clearing storm debris from our bayous and creeks.
· Assessed 21 of 22 watersheds so far for stormwater blockages.
· Estimating approximately 135,000 cubic yards of downed trees and other channel debris at hundreds of locations across Harris County that needs to be cleared.
· Removed 3,000 cubic yards of that total from 117 channel locations using in-house crews.
· Mobilized a debris removal contractor as of September 4th to ramp up debris removal.
· Completing final assessments on forested channels such as in the Cypress Creek and Willow Creek watersheds where the largest quantities of channel storm debris are expected; inspectors have walked more than 30 miles of these forested channels so far.
We are collecting crucial hydrologic data and aerial documentation of Hurricane Harvey impacts, and are repairing our countywide flood warning system to be ready for the next storm.
· Documented high water marks at more than 500 locations, a boots-on-the-ground task that must be accomplished immediately after a storm. High water marks are used for flood modeling and to verify and supplement data from our 154 Flood Warning System rainfall and stream elevation gages.
· Visited 444 bridges, 61 regional basins and other key locations across Harris County, in the largest high water mark effort since Hurricane Ike.
· Will complete repairs or replacements this week on the remaining 6 of 18 Flood Warning System gages damaged during the storm.
· Conducted reconnaissance flights in the immediate post-storm period to gather high-resolution and other photos for documentation and analysis of county-wide flooding, to be used for debris management and other recovery purposes.
We are preparing our home buyout program for the increased requests for voluntary buyouts due to Hurricane Harvey.
· For more details, visit: https://www.hcfcd.org/hurricane-harvey/home-buyout-program/
· Working with local, state and federal officials to obtain additional funding to help homeowners in flood-prone areas move to higher ground and to permanently remove structures from flood-prone areas.
· Opened a new phone bank, 713-684-4020, open during business hours, to take calls and register homeowners who wish to be considered for home buyout.
· Collected hundreds of new preliminary “notice of interest” forms from homeowners across Harris County who want to be considered for the buyout program, should funding become available.
Updates on this information will be provided. The Flood Control District is planning an organized press briefing September 18, offering media representatives throughout our community the opportunity to learn more about the Flood Control District’s response and future plans related to Hurricane Harvey. There will be notification in advance as soon as a time and location are confirmed.
About the Harris County Flood Control District
The Harris County Flood Control District provides flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure.