Drivers warned Highway 6 could close

April 28, 2009 3:19:39 PM PDT
The impoundment of rainwater in the Addicks reservoir could result in flood water overtopping State Highway 6 between Clay Road and Interstate 10 sometime this evening. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The decision to close State Highway 6 rests with the Texas Department of Transportation. The public is advised to pay close attention to news and traffic reports tomorrow morning to avoid any inconvenience and for motorists, for their own safety and that of their passengers, not to attempt to drive on State Highway 6 if there is standing water over the roadway.

The potential exists for further closures, particularly of Eldridge and Clay Roads, due to rising water within the federally-owned land at Addicks Reservoir. The extensive pools in the reservoir resulted from the rainstorms on April 27 and 28. The water level in the reservoirs could rise another two feet in the next several days.

The closure of State Highway 6 could last for more than a week, based on similar rain events in 1992 and 2002. In 1992, the highway was closed for almost two weeks.

"We regret any inconvenience these potential closures might cause to the public," said Colonel David C. Weston, Galveston District Army Corps of Engineers commander. "However, these reservoirs are doing exactly what they were designed to do, which is to reduce the flood levels along Buffalo Bayou and protect the Houston Metropolitan area."

Addicks and Barker Reservoirs were built in the 1940s to provide flood risk management, delaying the flow of floodwaters down Buffalo Bayou from its upper watershed. Both reservoirs are normally kept dry to preserve their overall capacity to impound storm water and reduce flood levels in Buffalo Bayou. The gates are closed to reduce flooding below the reservoirs. When the downstream runoff has receded to non- damaging stages, reservoir operations are resumed, the gates are opened, and water is released.

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