Harris County Flood Control District to build shallow ‘swales’ in Westbury to improve flow of stormwater

Westbury flooding
Westbury flooding

HOUSTON – The Harris County Flood Control District will build shallow swales in an effort to improve the flow of stormwater in southwest Houston.

The demolition will begin Monday on three purchased properties in the neighborhood of Westbury. The swale will help improve the flow of stormwater into the nearby Willow Waterhole Bayou to help decrease street flooding.

Officials said the swale is designed to collect stormwater when it rains and move the excess water into the bayou drainage network.

“The soon-to-be-installed swales will minimize street flooding in the neighborhood and help to improve local drainage during heavy rainfall events,” said Matt Zeve, deputy executive director for the Harris County Flood Control District. “The properties will be transformed into environmentally-friendly flood risk mitigation projects for the benefit of the entire neighborhood.”

Here are the following properties where the new swales will be installed:

- 5747 Cartagena Street,

- 5638 Ludington Drive, and

- 5730 Ludington Drive

The properties, which were for sale on the open market, were good locations to build on for this project because they are located on the lowest points of their streets, which is where stormwater wants to go during heavy rain events, officials said.

“These neighborhood drainage projects represent some of the most visible work we’re doing to help communities,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “I’m proud of this project because it directly improves the physical surroundings of high-risk homes, but it does so while respecting the natural environment that makes Westbury a beautiful place to live.”

The project is an addition to the city’s upcoming capital improvement efforts in Westbury to reduce street flooding by upgrading the neighborhood drainage system.

“This project, funded by 2018 flood bond, is an important step in helping Westbury and Harris County become more resilient communities,” said Commissioner Rodney Ellis. "Every neighborhood should have the same level of protection during severe weather and Precinct One will continue to advocate for projects that reduce flooding and keep families safe.

“The flood bond has given Harris County the local flexibility to equitably prioritize projects based on protecting the greatest number of families, not on federal formulas or property values. Without funding from the flood bond, this project and many more like it might not be possible,” Ellis added.

Contractors will take appropriate precautions to minimize disruptions. Drivers are asked to be aware of potential traffic interruptions and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance from the project sites.

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