In early 2021, the Harris County Flood Control District completed construction of extreme rainfall event swales on six vacant buyout lots in flood-prone areas of the Cypress Creek watershed. Construction began in late December 2020 and was completed in January 2021. Turf establishment follows construction.
Extreme rainfall event swales are shallow channels that help direct stormwater that collects inside neighborhoods during heavy rain events. This can happen when storm drains are overwhelmed, and when stormwater sheetflows (crosses overland) to reach a bayou, creek or drainage channel.
These shallow, gently sloping swales connect the street to the nearby bayou or channel in key locations, providing a way to reduce street ponding and other flooding risks.
The swales are grass-lined, approximately six inches to 12 inches deep, and are designed to engage during extreme rainfall events of approximately 5-7 inches.