Business owner recalls reservoir flooding 6 years after Harvey: 'You're never prepared for that'

Elyse Smith Image
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Looking back at Addicks and Barker flooding 6 years after Harvey
Small business owner Robert Valladares shared his struggles after a nearby reservoir flooding during Hurricane Harvey affected his shop six years ago.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Six years after Hurricane Harvey forever changed the City of Houston, many are still living with painful memories as they move on from the event.

For those in the Energy Corridor, the flooding caused by feet of rain from Harvey and the release of rainwater from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs led to catastrophic flooding for hundreds of homeowners and businesses.

Robert Valladares owns Quick Fix Headliners & Glass along Clay Road, which sits just west of the Addicks Reservoir.

After Harvey, his business took on a foot of water that did not recede for seven days. That flooding closed his business for six months for renovations, and he's still trying to rebound from that flood.

Valladares thanks his loyal customers for helping him stay in business but noted some financial creativity was needed between savings and opening credit cards to get by.

He also mentioned that working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after Harvey has been a challenge for him. As far as obtaining flood insurance, that's also a challenge because his business is in such close proximity to the reservoir.

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But Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, notes everyone needs flood insurance.

"Everybody should have flood insurance because we see the storms that happen that exceed our floodplains. All of these subdivisions that are along the edges of Addicks and Barker reservoirs are outside of the 100-year floodplain, so you're not required to have flood insurance," Lindner said.

Specifically for areas around the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, here's what the amount of rain within a short window of time could look like when it comes to flooding.

Around two to five inches of rain will likely lead to street flooding. Then, five to 10 inches of rain are when those who live along area creeks should start to monitor water levels and watch for flooding around them. It's once rain totals go above 15 inches, approaching 20-plus, when there's a larger concern for pools and reservoirs, like Addicks and Barker.

Lindner mentions that the chance of seeing another "Harvey" level event is very small but not impossible. So, being prepared and educated on local flood risks where you live or work is crucial.

But as Valladares noted, "It's kind of hard to prepare when stuff like that happens because, you know, you're never prepared for that."

Resources for homeowners to seek flood insurance from the government can be found at FEMA's website under U.S. Small Business Administration.

Local business owners flood resources from FEMA can also be found in their website.

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