Flood Control Releases List of Projects for August Bond Election
Series of Community Meetings Planned
May 31, 2018
Updated June 4, 2018
The Harris County Flood Control District on Wednesday, May 30, posted on its website an interactive map of projects proposed to be funded with the proceeds of a $2.5 billion bond election scheduled for vote on Aug. 25.
You can see the map of the bond program here.
The schedule of community meetings to discuss these projects is not yet complete but you can find the list here.
And here is where you can make a comment to the flood control district about projects in the Buffalo Bayou watershed.
We’ll have more on this soon.
Tell Flood Control: No! Stop Destroying Forest on Buffalo Bayou
Stop Stormwater BEFORE It Floods the Bayou
May 30, 2018
Harris County Flood Control plans to destroy forest on the south bank of Terry Hershey Park in west Houston in order to create 100-acre feet of stormwater detention siphoned off of Buffalo Bayou. This minor amount of detention is to compensate for INCREASED stormwater that the City of Houston plans to drain into the bayou from surrounding neighborhoods. We need to stop stormwater BEFORE it enters our streams. Tell Flood Control you are OPPOSED to the project by taking their survey on this page. Do it now! They’re starting soon. The survey doesn’t really let you say no to the project. But you can express your opposition and displeasure in the comment box at the end.
Power and Will: Eminent Domain for Preserving Land and Surviving Floods
The Moral Hazard in a Golf Course
May 18, 2018
Mention “eminent domain” and ugly associations come to mind. The brutal power of the state. Taking homes and beloved ranch and farm land for development of oil pipelines, highways, powerlines, private for-profit rail lines. Destroying neighborhoods in the name of “urban renewal.” Condemnation.
But what if the government instead used its power of eminent domain to preserve undeveloped land urgently needed for stormwater detention and green space? It can do that. Other cities have done that. Why, the government can even use this power to preserve much needed affordable housing, say for people displaced by flooding. Local governments elsewhere are doing that. (See New York City and Richmond, California.)
Recently there has been controversy over the City of Houston’s role in allowing residential development on more than 100 acres of an unused golf course on Gessner Road in west Houston just east of Addicks Reservoir. Discussion has focused on the folly (and taxpayer burden) of constructing (federally-insured) homes in a floodplain.
But the more critical issue is that local golf courses, including this particular golf course, have been identified as one of the few remaining sources of undeveloped land vitally needed for detaining stormwater and reducing flooding in our highly developed city.
The golf course in question, Pine Crest, drains into Brickhouse Gully, which in turn drains into White Oak Bayou. Both streams are among the top ten fastest rising streams by flow in the state of Texas, according to a recent study by hydrologist Matthew Berg. Also in the top ten is Cole Creek, which flows into the same spot, pointed out Berg in a recent interview.
The decision to allow development of this open space, instead of using it for stormwater detention, is a prime example of creating a moral hazard: placing people in harm’s way knowing that others will pick up the tab for the damages.
No Dispute: This Green Space Is Urgently Needed to Hold Rain Runoff
Neighborhoods along all of these streams have experienced repeated flooding, reported the Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, a group of local scientific experts organized after Harvey. The consortium recommended creating detention, among other remedies, along these streams in its recently released report. (p. 44).