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September 14, 2017 12:27:15 PM CST

UPDATE: Harris County Flood Control District Focused on Flood Recovery

Infrastructure Repairs and Readiness the Top Priority; Hurricane Season Continues through November

Since Hurricane Harvey smashed through nearly every existing national rainfall record and dropped a year’s worth of rain on portions of Harris County in late August, the Flood Control District has been focused on recovery: clearing debris, assessing and repairing our drainage infrastructure, and reducing the risks of flooding in preparation for the next storm. We began this work even before the rain stopped falling.

We are making emergency repairs at priority sites while conducting a county-wide assessment of all our bayous, creeks, channels and stormwater detention basins.

  • Authorized nearly $2.1 million for emergency repair construction to date.
  • Allocating $10.3 million so far in available funding for Harvey response.
  • Completed emergency repairs at the Inverness Forest levee in the Cypress Creek watershed of north Harris County.
  • Launched construction or design on priority emergency repairs in the Greens Bayou, Brays Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Cypress Creek, Sims Bayou, Armand Bayou and Horsepen Creek watersheds.
  • Hired additional contractors to survey drainage infrastructure damage countywide, and to assist in prioritizing, designing and constructing repairs.
  • Preparing requests for additional storm-related funding from federal partners such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

We are clearing storm debris from our bayous and creeks.

  • Assessed 21 of 22 watersheds so far for stormwater blockages.
  • Estimating approximately 135,000 cubic yards of downed trees and other channel debris at more than 2,500 locations across Harris County.
  • Removed more than 3,500 cubic yards of that total from 123 channel locations using in-house crews.
  • Mobilized a debris removal contractor who has established debris management sites and dispatched crews that are also removing larger channel blockages.
  • Completing final assessments on forested channels such as in the Cypress Creek and Willow Creek watersheds where the largest quantities of channel storm debris are expected; inspectors have walked more than 30 miles of these forested channels so far.

We have collected crucial hydrologic data and aerial documentation of Hurricane Harvey impacts, and are repairing our countywide flood warning system to be ready for the next storm.

  • Completed the documentation of high water marks at more than 500 locations. High water marks are used for flood modeling and to verify and supplement data from our 154 Flood Warning System rainfall and stream elevation gages.
  • Visited 444 bridges, 61 regional basins and other key locations across Harris County, in the largest high water mark effort since Hurricane Ike.
  • Completing final repairs or replacements on the remaining 3 of 18 Flood Warning System gages damaged during the storm.
  • Conducted reconnaissance flights in the immediate post-storm period and acquired 3-inch-resolution photos of the entire county for documentation and analysis of flooding, to be used for debris management and other recovery purposes.

We are preparing our home buyout program for the increased requests for voluntary buyouts due to Hurricane Harvey. 

  • For more details, visit:
  • For information about our home buyout accomplishments to date, visit:
  • Working with local, state and federal officials to obtain additional funding to help homeowners in flood-prone areas move to higher ground and to permanently remove structures from flood-prone areas.
  • Opened a new phone bank, 713-684-4020, open during business hours, to take calls and register homeowners who wish to be considered for home buyout.
  • Collected nearly 2,100 preliminary “notice of interest” forms from homeowners across Harris County who want to be considered for the buyout program, should funding become available.