Cedar Bayou floods studied

CROSBY – Residents living along Cedar Bayou on the easternmost side of Harris County were flooded repetedly over the last 18 months.

Recently, Harris County Flood Control District launched the Cedar Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Study to analyze flooding and drainage issues in the Cedar Bayou watershed.

Ultimately, the purpose is to develop shot and long term solutions to reduce flooding risks.

Over the last 18 months, rainfall totals have set records. Recounting those floods include: MidMay 2015, the Memorial Day Flood in which 6,333 Harris County Homes were flooded,the October 24 through 25 flood, the Halloween flood, then this year; the April 17 though 18 floods caused at least seven fatalities. Locally, the Cedar Bayou watershed near FM 1942 has been among the hardest hit.

A homeowner near Holy Road said, “The problem is there are tree stumps and who knows what all kinda trash there before you get to F.M. 1942 and it is backing up until it floods our house and our neighbors.”

“We’ve had some bad floods within the last year and a half, especially in the Crosby and Huffman area. These residents want to see more flood reduction projects in east Harris County,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Morman. “With the continued growth, it’s imperative we get a handle on this before it gets any worse.”

The County states, “The study will focus on the portion of the watershed that is in unincorporated Harris County, so the Flood Control District and Precinct 2 will coordinate meetings with residents and business owners who live and work in this area and who have firsthand knowledge of flooding issues. Because the watershed lies in the boundaries of several jurisdictions, the study team will also coordinate with Liberty and Chambers counties, the cities of Baytown and Mont Belvieu, and various community groups with interest in the Cedar Bayou watershed. ”

Funding for the study is made possible by a $250,000 flood protection planning grant awarded to the Flood Control District by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), which recently authorized $3.5 million in grants from the Disaster Contingency Fund for 17 projects around the state. The Flood Control District has already committed an additional $400,000 towards the work effort.

As part of the Cedar Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Study, the Flood Control District will investigate Cedar Bayou and its tributaries in order to determine areas that frequently flood and the causes of those flooding issues. The team will:

• Identify flood risks and estimate potential damages due to flooding.

• Identify and evaluate potential flood risk reduction projects, such as channel improvements and regional stormwater detention basins.

• Estimate the costs and benefits of the proposed projects.

• Develop an implementation plan that prioritizes the recommended solutions.

Cedar Bayou Flood Risk Reduction Study information and updates will be posted at www.hcfcd.org/projects-studies/projects-and-studies/cedar-bayou/cedar-bayou-flood-risk-reduction-study/

To ask questions about the study, or to sign up for email updates, contact the Harris County Flood Control District’s Project and Study Information Line at 713-684-4040.