What Happened in the Addicks Watershed During the Tax Day Flood?
Approximately 240 billion gallons of rainwater fell over Harris County April 17-18, resulting in major flooding in streets and homes. The Upper Cypress Creek, Addicks and Barker watersheds received 13-17 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. Stormwater runoff made its way into the major creeks in Addicks and Barker watersheds, causing house flooding in neighborhoods near Langham, Bear, South Mayde, Horsepen and Mason creeks, as well as upper Buffalo Bayou.
The water also caused significant rises in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in west Harris County; and in fact, both reservoir pools reached record levels. As water levels rose in the reservoirs, roadways that run through them went underwater, and neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the Addicks Reservoir’s western and northern boundaries had rising water in streets. Water came close to getting in neighborhood streets behind the Barker Reservoir, but did not. When a period of dry weather was forecast for the Houston region, the Corps started releasing stormwater at a controlled rate into Buffalo Bayou.
What is the Flood Control District Doing in the Aftermath of the Flood?
In the aftermath of the storm event (April 16-17, 2016), teams from the Flood Control District:
- Inspected flood control facilities for storm damage and debris.
- Worked with residents and community groups to learn about potential flooding problems that involve our bayou system.
- Continued work on our robust capital program of flood risk reduction projects, and our year-round maintenance programs.
The Flood Control District’s past projects in the Addicks Reservoir watershed include channel improvements along Langham Creek, diversion channels on Bear, Langham and Horsepen creeks, and a major maintenance project on Horsepen Creek. The Flood Control District also started investigating the current condition and capacity of all channels for which it has property rights that flow into Addicks and Barker reservoirs. This work effort will begin with a pilot project to survey and remove sediment from three channels and to restore them to their design capacity, if found to be required.
For additional information on this investigation, and other projects and studies in the Addicks Watershed, go to