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Flood signage causing mixed emotions in SW Houston neighborhood to be removed

HOUSTON – The city of Houston will remove flood gauge signs that caused a bit of an uproar in southwest Houston recently.

A series of new signs posted along flood-prone North Braeswood Boulevard was upsetting some residents in the area.

"I think it's ugly," said Margaret Sanchez, a Braes Heights resident.

The flood gauge signs sit in city easements, but some are very close to front lawns, and some residents have said they will hurt property values.

The city now says the signs will be removed after admitting to not providing proper notification to the neighborhood.

The city said a request was made for the signs to be placed, so the request was added to an existing project in the area; however, the contractor placed the signs before a change order could properly be processed.

"I can understand why people might be outraged about it, but if we ever have a flood, people will be glad they're there so they know how deep the water is," Councilman Michael Kubosh said.

The signage, erected April 20, was authorized by the city of Houston, but the day after the signs went up, neither Kubosh nor the Department of Public Works could identify who ordered the signs be cemented into the ground.

Residents of Southwest Houston's Robindell and Braes Heights subdivisions have signs prominently placed near the entrances of their neighborhood.

"It's in somebody's front yard, which I'm not sure is the best place to put it," said Lex Frieden, a resident of Braes Heights.

Frieden also said the area did flood and that signs served a valuable purpose.

KPRC saw three sets of signs (on each side of the street) between Edloe and Braewick on North Braeswood Bouldvard on Friday.

"I had assumed it would have disappeared in the middle of the night and I'm very surprised it didn't," Sanchez said.

Kubosh reminded Houstonians it a crime to remove official city signage from rights-of-way, but, at the time, said he would further investigate the matter to see if it is possible and appropriate to relocate the signs.

Here is the official statement from the city of Houston:

"The Department of Public Works and Engineering received a request for flood gauge signs from the neighborhood. The request was added to an existing project in the area, however the contractor placed the signs before a change order could be properly processed and without providing the required notification to the neighborhood. The contractor is removing the signs, Public Works and Engineering is reviewing the internal process for these types of requests and will be working with the Council Office and community to finalize a plan on how to keep the community safe and warn drivers that a section of the roadway may be affected by flooding during heavy rains."