Harris County Flood Control District doubles down on projects ahead of hurricane season

Erica Simon Image
Friday, May 28, 2021
Flood Control District to double down on big bayou projects
With all the rain we've had lately, folks are wondering how local leaders are addressing the flooding threat. It's a serious problem that will only become more pressing with another hurricane season around the corner. ABC13 reporter Erica Simon looked into flood control efforts - hit play for the latest.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- When Hurricane Harvey dumped historic amounts of rain in 2017, the Houston metro area took a beating. You wouldn't be able to tell now, but Braeswood Place was among those hardest hit, which is why many eyes are on the weather after the week of rain the city had.

A good number of residents were forced to rebuild after Harvey with future floods in mind.

SEE RELATED STORY: Harris County and Houston left out of $1 billion in flood mitigation aid

"When we built, we were required to go six feet high and now you are required to go eight feet high," said Mandy Loper, a resident.

Loper and her neighbors say they watch over Brays Bayou every time there's heavy rain.

WATCH: Woman recalls life-threatening floods as GLO denies Houston money

Many residents still haven't picked up the pieces from Hurricane Harvey, and some are starting to feel neglected by Texas leaders.

"We have seen improvements for sure, but definitely could use the money to see more improvements and get the projects finished quicker," said Kourtney Lyda.

In 2018, Harris County voters approved $2.5 billion in bond money to help with flood reduction. Since then, despite being snubbed by the GLO for more project money, the Harris County Flood Control District has been hard at work alongside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

SEE RELATED STORY: GLO fund distribution a 'failed attempt' to pit city, county against each other

"As soon as we start digging dirt, we're making benefits for people in the area. So, they're well on their way and once complete will provide flood risk reduction for many thousands of people," said Alan Black, the director of operations.

The main projects they are working to complete are Brays Bayou, White Oak Bayou and Hunting Bayou. Soon, work will start on the Clear Creek watershed.

"Hurricane season is from June to November, but flooding season is year-round. That's why we encourage everyone to get flood insurance. It's cheap insurance, and it's well worth it," Black said.

For Loper and those who lived through Harvey, all they can do is hope for the best and be prepared for the next round of storms.

"People are still reliving it and still going through it and still climbing out of it, and so the more help that Harris County can get, the better," she said.

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