Harris County Flood Control District Operations Team in ‘flood watch’ mode ahead of Tropical Storm Nicholas

Officials warn of potential Bayou flooding ahead of storm

HOUSTON – At a home near the banks of Brays Bayou, Randy Foster has seen history repeat itself time and time again.

“I’m sure when it really starts raining tonight, I’ll be looking at the flood gauge,” Foster told KPRC from the garage of his home that is currently under construction.

Foster’s Meyerland home flooded three times. First during the Memorial Day floods in 2015, then the Tax Day floods in 2016, followed by Harvey in 2017. Three floods in three years.

“I’ve been out of the house since May of 2015, so that’s over six years now,” he said.

Like many homeowners in Meyerland, Farber is raising his home 11 feet so if the bayous do flood, his home will not.

“If we flood now, all of Houston is going to have a problem,” he said.

The Harris County Flood Control District Operations Team is in what it calls “flood watch.” They are monitoring bayous and watersheds for potential flooding.

Meanwhile, the district is working to reduce flooding.

Last month, on the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the agency announced that all projects part of a multi-billion dollar post-Harvey bond program to reduce flooding are underway. There are about 180 of them.

The Brays Bayou Federal Project should be complete by the end of the year.

“The channel improvements are done. The detention basins are done. The only thing left are the bridges that we are currently working on and those are almost complete as well,” Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Alan Black told KPRC 2.

But if the area gets enough rain, it will flood.

“It will never completely eliminate that risk, so you’ve got to be aware of what’s going on in your area,” said Black.

Black said another area of concern is the neighborhood along the Clear Creek watershed.

“That’s the area we are going to be watching very closely. There is a lot of work to come. Several million dollars that we plan to put in the ground in the next couple of years, but it’s not there yet,” he said.

The Harris County Flood Control District is in the third year of a 10-year program, and while the goal is to reduce flooding, Randy Farber said he knows the projects will not eliminate it.

“Now that we’ve rebuilt it and raised it, hopefully, we won’t have any more problems,” said Farber.