City of Houston preps drains for possible flooding

June 30, 2010 4:57:06 PM PDT
The rain from Alex could cause flooding in Houston. Crews were out Wednesday cleaning out drains on city streets. Keeping our storm drains clean of debris is a constant challenge in Houston. But for one neighborhood, even that isn't enough. Homeowners are worried that any substantial rain will once again cause massive flooding.

Lois Myers is worried that her neighborhood is about to face a repeat of last year. The last time, heavy rains flooded several blocks around Westview and Bunker Hill.

"With this hurricane coming, and 6 to 12 inches, we're worried we're going to get flooded out again," Myers said.

Myers said her neighborhood never flooded until major commercial projects were built nearby without proper drainage.

It's an issue that's all too familiar to Mayor Annise Parker.

"We are already engaged in a longer term look at drainage across the city of Houston," Parker said. "We have a drainage review going on; my intention is to ultimately create a drainage master plan."

A citywide drainage plan will take years to implement and cost multi-millions of dollars. For the short term, city crews are out daily trying to keep Houston's existing drains clear of debris.

But the simple fact remains: If there is major rain, somewhere in Houston, it will flood.

"The issues that we have here are drainage related," Houston City Councilman Stephen Costello said. "You can't really prepare for the extreme rainfall that we're going to get."

As for Myers, she's still fighting local developers to build proper retention ponds. But until that happens, she's keeping her belongs packed up fearful that another flood could hit Thursday.

"This is how I live, in boxes," Myers said. "I'm not putting this stuff away."

City leaders say they are monitoring Alex, but for now, they're just expecting a heavy rain fall.

However, they urge you that if you haven't prepared for hurricane season, now is a good time to start.


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