On the evening of Memorial Day 2015, portions of southwest Harris County reported receiving 10 or more inches of rainfall in six hours, greatly exceeding the statistical 1% (100-year) rainfall totals. There were seven fatalities in Harris County, between 3,000 and 6,000 structures were flooded, and more than 7,000 motorists were stranded.
Because of flood damage reduction projects completed in the past 20 years – including stormwater detention basins and channel conveyance improvements – structural flooding was avoided for:
- 7,300 homes and businesses along Brays Bayou
- 1,700 homes and businesses along Sims Bayou
- 1,600 homes and businesses along White Oak Bayou
An additional 485 flood-prone homes previously removed in voluntary buyouts countywide also avoided damages. (In partnership with FEMA and also acting independently, the Flood Control District acquires flood-prone homes, moves the residents to higher ground, and demolishes the structures. The land is then left undeveloped for open space and natural floodplain functions.)