LAKE HOUSTON – Awareness is growing that this waterway is vital to the over 300,000 people that live near this lake and the metropolitan city it supplies with water.
Last Friday, local leaders including the mayor, State Representatives Dan Huberty, John Culbertson and others witnessed the cleaning up of the Lake from Hurricane Harvey, of debris that washed into the lake when it was hit by 51 inches of rain.
“Lake capacity was reduced by 30%. If we don’t do this it will get worse. Things will wash into the area, and you are going to see the risk of losing capacity. If there was any need for a reminder, we got one on July 4. So, that’s the reason we have to move, and we have to move very, very quickly.” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department contracted with DRC Emergency Services, LLC, to have several barges freight off over 50,000 cubic yards of debris.
Dan Huberty, R, 127th Texas House District, and before redistricting representative for Crosby and Highlands, backed a program called “Plea for Three” months ago that among other things called for Remediation: Full funding to dredge both Lake Houston and the San Jacinto River in order to remove the sand, siltation and debris deposits and stricter enforcement of TCEQ regulations on legal and illegal sand mining operations. And act on conditions resultant from the three major flooding incidents since 2015.
This clean-up project started in mid-May and since then, crews have removed 1,000 to 2,000 cubic yards of debris each day.
On Friday, the leaders rode around Lake Houston to witness house sized mounds of debris on barges. Then, it was loaded into large dumpsters.
The last hurricane deposited felled logs, trash, furniture from everywhere the lake touched.
“We had over 17,000 homes alone [destroyed] when this area flooded. 4,500 businesses were impacted. We can not let that happen again.” said Huberty, “Every time it rains people in this area are worried that our homes will flood again.”
Huberty complimented the City for its effort, that of Harris County for the $2.5 billion dollar bond it has called for and was thankful of the $5 billion dollars in aid that is supposed to be released soon to address Hurricane Harvey. When asked about the proposed dredging that is under review for the San Jacinto River, he added, “Dredging has been needed here since at least 2011.”