Residents fear having to clean ditches and culverts themselves ahead of potential flooding

Tom Abrahams Image
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

A major infrastructure drainage project is under construction to help, but residents worry money will be a problem.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A long drainage culvert along the center on Elmview Drive in northwest Houston might not look like a problem, but it flooded during Tropical Storm Imelda in September 2019.

It's such a concern for residents, some of them spent this past weekend cleaning it out themselves.

Wade Worley was among them. He told Eyewitness News he wishes the city would do more to keep it clean.

"We don't want to go through what we did in 2019 again," he said.

The residents in the Campbell Woods and Spring Shadows neighborhoods have leaned on the city of Houston for years. So much that there is now a beginning to true change.

READ ALSO: Up to 600 Lake Charles families forced out of homes due to flooding

A major infrastructure drainage project is under construction to help, but residents worry city budget shortfalls will stall the rest of the much-needed work to improve the drainage on their streets.

"We actually instituted a program a while back of cleaning the drains out before events come in making sure the debris is cleared," said David Van Bergen, a long-time resident and member of the civic association.

Amy Peck, who represents District A, is their council member and she said she's working on it.

Peck explained residents must keep the drainage on their property clean, but the city has to do a better job on public property. She's proposed a budget amendment that would allow council members to hire contractors to clean out problem drainage ahead of forecasted storms.

READ ALSO: Houston 1 week behind schedule on waste pickups ahead of flood threat

"I understand why they're worried. I'm worried for them as well," Peck told ABC13. "There are a lot of neighborhoods where we're trying to get flooding mitigation projects for and there are a lot of other issues along with just properly maintained sewer systems, water systems, drainage ditches. And so we're trying get all of that solved as well."

In the meantime, residents like those in northwest Houston will keep cleaning and praying for less rain.

Stay weather aware by downloading the ABC13 app to have the latest breaking news and weather alerts sent straight to your phone.

Follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.