Life near the reservoirs

HOUSTON – Many living near the Barker and Addicks dams flooded when the reservoirs became inundated or when water was released into Buffalo Bayou. The recovery in these areas is far from complete.

“It's a long process, we're kind of tired of doing it all the time,” said Melissa Klotzbuecher. “I cried every day I came home into the neighborhood to work on my house for a couple of hours and go out to Katy where we were staying. We're a family of five split into three different homes.”

Flood repairs on the inside of the Klotzbuechers' home are 80 percent complete. Their Bear Creek Village house is a stone's throw from the Addicks reservoir. The neighborhood was largely underwater from Hurricane Harvey's staggering amounts of rain inundating reservoirs and pushing into neighborhoods.

“When you drive through the back part of the neighborhood, it's very depressing,” said Klotzbuecher.

Many of the homes near the Addicks reservoir are not nearly complete. Some businesses along Clay Road remain closed but vow to return.

“I just wish there was more people that used to live here coming back, but a lot of people decided they're done,” said Klotzbuecher.

Kathryn Clark estimates her family and belongings moved seven times over the past year.

“I actually went to the doctor and got anti-anxiety medication early on, which is kind of cheating probably,” said Clark.

The family only recently moved back into the first floor of the house, but they have no furniture yet.

“It feels really good to be back home, and it's also exhausting,” said Clark. “I’m aiming for two years to have everything back to normal.”

The Clarks' home is in the Heathwood subdivision near Briar Forest. This area is along Buffalo Bayou and downstream from the reservoirs. The neighborhood escaped flooding during Harvey's rains but flooded after water was released from the reservoirs into the bayou.

“This house was built in '79, and that neighbor has been in this neighborhood since 1980, and she says there has never been a house in here that's flooded,” said Clark.

Scores of residents are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains and operates the dams. Since Harvey, the Corps has been working to repair and upgrade several parts of the dam to alleviate future flooding concerns.

Many homes throughout the Houston area remain in various stages of repair. However, many people KPRC spoke with said they are cautiously optimistic the recent passage of the flood bond will signal a new age of flood control in Harris County.

“If it happens again, I'm gone,” said Klotzbuecher.