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August 30, 2017 1:15:30 PM CST

BAYOUS AND CREEKS UPDATE AS OF 1:15 PM, AUGUST 30

Widespread House Flooding Still Underway as Rain Ends; Reservoirs Still Rising

The Harris County Flood Control District's Flood Operations team continues to monitor this life-threatening flooding event in progress over Harris County. Rainfall has mostly ended, but widespread house flooding in the thousands is underway across Harris County. This includes neighborhoods adjacent to Addicks and Barker reservoirs and along Buffalo Bayou, which have been impacted by historic releases from the reservoir outlets.

Harvey dumped 27-35 inches of rain over Harris County, with multiple stormwater gages registering seven-day readings of more than 40 inches and a maximum of 49.56 inches near Clear Creek at Interstate 45.

Emergency first-responders are focused on reaching and rescuing residents trapped in their flooded homes, and answering thousands of calls for assistance as quickly as possible.

Harvey’s extreme rainfall led to significant rises in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in west Harris and Fort Bend counties.  At current pool elevations, house flooding is occurring in adjacent neighborhoods. Roadways that run through the reservoirs are underwater. Both reservoir outlet gates are open and releasing stormwater into Buffalo Bayou, but pool levels may continue to rise.

Rising stormwater in the Addicks Reservoir began spilling around the north end of the Addicks dam at approximately 8 a.m., August 28, 2017, near the intersection of N. Eldridge Parkway and Tanner Road. As of August 30, uncontrolled releases are NO LONGER EXPECTED around the Barker Reservoir dam.

Controlled releases of stormwater from Addicks and Barker reservoirs into Buffalo Bayou, the receiving stream for both reservoirs, total approximately 13,800 cubic feet per second at this time. Stormwater levels along Buffalo Bayou are slowly rising in some areas, holding steady in others, but may rise further if release rates from the two reservoirs increase.

Residents along Buffalo Bayou and immediately adjacent to the Addicks and Barker reservoirs are urged to remain alert and take precautionary measures, as necessary.

Any questions regarding the reservoirs should be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Galveston District Emergency Operations Center at 409-766-6377 or www.swg.usace.army.mil. On Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the reservoirs, which were built in the 1940s to protect against flooding in downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel. Outlet gates were later added as a further safety measure so that stormwater releases could be controlled to minimize downstream flooding risks.

Reservoir pool levels could continue to rise throughout the week, despite the reopening of the outlet gates with higher-than-normal releases. Elevated reservoir pool levels could impact surrounding areas behind the dams for several weeks to months. 

The Flood Control District urges all residents to monitor rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Flood Warning System website at www.harriscountyfws.org. It is important for Harris County residents to be aware of conditions near their workplaces, schools and homes. Stay tuned to messages from emergency officials-- distributed through the various media outlets. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @HCFCD for live updates.

Nearly every watershed is experiencing devastating flooding:

Portions or all of the following bayous and creeks are still out of banks:

  • Buffalo Bayou
  • Clear Creek and tributaries
  • West Fork San Jacinto River
  • East Fork San Jacinto River
  • Lake Houston Dam Spillway
  • Cedar Bayou
  • Gum Gulley
  • Spring Creek
  • Cypress Creek
  • Little Cypress Creek
  • Willow Creek
  • Greens Bayou
  • South Mayde Creek
  • Bear Creek

Widespread street flooding continues across Harris County. Please check the Houston Transtar website at http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/roadclosures/#highwater for a list of locations.

The Flood Control District's Flood Operations team continues in full operation. The Flood Control District’s phone bank will remain open through the remainder of this event. Residents are urged to call with questions regarding flooding or to report any structural flooding at 713-684-4000.

Stay tuned and pay close attention to messages from emergency officials. Heed all advice given by local emergency officials. Evacuate only if you have been told to do so.

Here are steps YOU CAN TAKE DURING and AFTER THE STORM: 

  • Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
  • Remain in your home unless instructed to evacuate by local officials.
  • Move emergency supplies and valuables to a high, dry place in your residence.
  • Locate and put pets in a safe place.
  • Never drive into high water. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Less than two feet of water can float and wash away a vehicle. Be especially cautious at underpasses and at night when water across roadways can be difficult to see.
  • The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has disaster preparedness resources and the latest information about conditions in Harris County at readyharris.org. The Flood Control District has a “Family Flood Preparedness” center at www.hcfcd.org/famfloodprepare.html with helpful, printable resources and flood preparedness tips.
  • This flooding event is a reminder that all residents in this area should carry flood insurance. Contact your insurance agent for more information about purchasing flood insurance, or visit the National Flood Insurance Program at fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or call 1-888-379-9531. Please keep in mind that new insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.