Fort Bend residents worried 'we could be next' as they say homes being swallowed by Brazos River

Pooja Lodhia Image
Friday, May 31, 2024
Residents worried as homes are being swallowed up by Brazos River
Nearly $100 million will go toward repairs along the Brazos River as residents claim erosion from the river is destroying streets and highways.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- "We started out with 15, and we probably have five now," Jeff Florence said, gesturing toward his land.

Florence and his family live on the Brazos River, just outside Simonton's city limits, but they are losing land to the river.

"When the river comes, and it's flooding, you lose it all. We lost a ton of sheep. People lose cattle all the time, buffalos," he explained.

The river has also swallowed up homes.

"When we first moved here, there were like two houses and a little barn out that way. Now, there's a half of a house," he explained. "That was in like 2009 to now, so who knows? We could be the next month, we could be next year, we could be in 10 years. Who knows? Hopefully, they do something before then."

On Thursday, officials from the Texas General Land Office, Fort Bend County, and the city of Sugar Land announced nearly $100 million will be going toward repairing the area and stopping erosion.

But it's not just about losing land. It's also about safety.

When areas fall into the river and highways like the Southwest Freeway flood, evacuation routes are at risk.

"The river is like one of those things where it could (be) down one night, the next morning, it could be up. You can't really count on anything," Florence said. "People are going to be like, 'It floods, why are we going to buy out there?' We're pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place until they get something done."

Officials have not provided a timeline for when projects along the river will begin.

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