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.

Map of proposed projects to be funded with bond proceeds. Image courtesy of HCFCD

Tell Flood Control: No! Stop Destroying Forest on Buffalo Bayou

Stop Stormwater BEFORE It Floods the Bayou

Take the Survey

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.

Trail through the forest of Terry Hershey Park on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou in west Houston.


Planned detention basins in Terry Hershey Park on south bank of Buffalo Bayou. Project begins with Cell One. This plan is to compensate for MORE stormwater that the City plans to drain into the bayou. Image courtesy HCFCD

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

The 150-acre site of the former Pine Crest golf course on Gessner and Clay roads in west Houston. Culvert in upper right drains into Brickhouse Gully, which has one of the fastest rising streamflows in Texas. Google Earth image Oct. 28, 2017


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).

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