Hurricane Harvey

HCFCD WORKING TO REMOVE CHANNEL STORM DEBRIS

IMPORTANT: Do Not place household storm debris in drainage channels or on flood control rights-of-way. These channels MUST be clear to handle the next rain event. The Harris County Flood Control District is currently assessing and clearing bayous, creeks and other channels of storm debris left by Hurricane Harvey. Flood control right-of-way MUST be clear for access by repair crews and equipment.

  • Residents are encouraged to report bayou and creek blockages to the Flood Control District’s Citizen Service Center at https://www.hcfcd.org/contact-us/citizen-service-center/, or by calling (713) 684-4197. If possible, please:
    • “Drop a pin” to obtain and share coordinates of the blockage, or
    • Include the nearest street address
    • Include a photo!
    • Include email and/or phone contact information, in case Flood Control District personnel need help in locating the site
  • Information on HOUSEHOLD STORM DEBRIS REMOVAL:

> Unincorporated Harris County Storm Debris Collection Information

> City of Houston Storm Debris Collection Information

Hurricane Harvey left debris piled up in most Harris County bayous and creeks. Downed trees and other storm debris can create blockages to stormwater flow, especially along natural forested channels. Removing this debris is a high priority for the Flood Control District and its Hurricane Harvey recovery effort.

This work is especially important as Hurricane Season continues through November.

So far, the Harris County Flood Control District has

  • Completed preliminary assessments of 21 of 22 watersheds for stormwater blockages.
  • Estimated approximately 135,000 cubic yards of downed trees and other channel debris at more than 2,300 locations across Harris County.
  • Removed more than 3,500 cubic yards from 123 channel locations using in-house crews.
  • Mobilized a debris removal contractor, Phillips & Jordan, which has established debris management sites and dispatched crews to begin removing debris.

The Flood Control District is completing final assessments on forested channels where the largest quantities of channel storm debris is expected.

Typically, crews will access project sites via public easements such as bridge crossings. In some cases with limited public access, the Flood Control District may also seek a temporary right of entry from adjacent landowners to reach the channel.

So that personnel and equipment can reach the creekbed and our drainage easements, our crews may clear 10-to-12-foot-wide access paths to the creek in multiple locations. Where these paths cross private property, our contractor will obtain a written temporary right of entry from the underlying property owner. Then, in order to reach the blockages with the necessary equipment, our crews will clear limited portions of the streambank within our easement, upstream and/or downstream from the access points. Where access to our right-of-way is limited, access paths may be maintained for the future.

These access paths are generally chosen so as to reach the blockages with the least necessary amount of streambank clearing.

Because of the nature and size of the debris, some locations may require the use of heavy equipment. Crews will use smaller-track vehicles and small tractors for a reduced footprint whenever possible.

After the debris is removed from the channel, it may be temporarily stockpiled on the creek bank in multiple locations for collection and transportation to an appropriate disposal site.