20 vehicles removed from Houston bayous after Channel 2 Investigation

County ends pilot project with 20 vehicles removed from Brays and Sims bayous

HOUSTON – Over the weekend, the Harris County Flood Control District ended its pilot project to remove submerged vehicles from Harris County bayous. A total of 20 vehicles were recovered by the project, which began on Jan. 27.

The final two vehicles were pulled from Sims Bayou on Feb. 5. After the cars were removed from the bayou, they were placed in a staging area, where the operational portion of the Submerged Vehicle Removal Project was completed.

For approximately two weeks, marine services contractor Saltwater Salvage worked with subcontractor Apple Towing to conduct removals from the Houston bayous. They utilized certified commercial divers, a floating barge, inflatable lift bags and a heavy-lift wrecker, along with other specialized equipment, to raise the vehicles from the bottom of Brays and Sims bayous, where they were hauled out for police inspection and transported to the appropriate police or storage facility.

Channel 2 Investigates' Joel Eisenbaum first reported that more than 100 vehicles are suspected to be at the bottom of three Houston bayous: Brays, Buffalo and Sims. His investigation led to the pilot project.

The project's sites included:

  • Brays Bayou at Old Spanish Trail
  • Brays Bayou at Lidstone Street
  • Brays Bayou near Fonde Park
  • Sims Bayou at Broadway Street

The project is being directed by an executive management committee including representatives from Harris County Precinct 2, the city of Houston, the Houston Police Department and the Flood Control District. The Flood Control District is acting as the project administrator. 

The committee will make recommendations about whether the  program will continue on a larger scale.