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Posts Tagged ‘Army Corps of Engineers’

City buys out some flooded homes

Expect to see more of this. Houston City Council on Wednesday approved funding nearly 60 home buyouts across three flood-prone neighborhoods, the first such step from City Hall in recent memory. The city typically leaves buyouts to the Harris County Flood Control District and, in fact, the measure approved by the council would send $10.7 […]

What the Harvey needs are from the state

It’s not just about recovery. The long term needs, including mitigation against future events like Harvey, is where the real money will need to be spent. More than one month after Harvey’s deluge hit, local officials, including Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, testified at a state House of Representatives Appropriations Committee […]

What should the people living near the dams have known?

More than they were told, is what they’re saying. A federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claims government officials knew for years that water impounded behind Addicks and Barker dams would flood thousands of suburban homes during an extreme storm – and yet did nothing to advise or compensate property owners. The […]

Can our dams handle the load?

Pretty important question, wouldn’t you say? The state climatologist is warning that Texas dams will become less able to withstand extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, which are expected to occur more frequently as the earth’s atmosphere and oceans warm in coming years. Dams are designed with a wide margin of safety and are meant […]

Let’s review those flood control regulations

Seems like a good idea, wouldn’t you say? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to review Harris County’s flood control regulations to gauge whether they sufficiently neutralize the flood risk posed by the region’s booming development, a question that has drawn increasing scrutiny after a series of storms in recent years, capped by […]

Will we spend on some flood mitigation projects?

Maybe. We’ll see. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the construction of flood control infrastructure in the Houston area — things he said should have been built “decades and decades ago” — including a coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge. “We need more levees. […]

Lawsuits filed over dam releases

This ought to be interesting. A group of flooded-out Harris County homeowners and businesses sued the federal government on Tuesday, accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of knowingly condemning their properties by releasing water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs after Hurricane Harvey. Bryant Banes, a civil attorney whose Heathwood home and his wife’s […]

What is the environmental impact of building an Ike Dike?

Maybe we should try to figure that out. Plans for building a massive storm-surge protection system for the Houston area are rushing ahead before officials determine whether the project could harm Galveston Bay, environmental groups say. The Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation, the environmental groups most closely watching the planning process, worry that […]

Obama signs Cornyn flood mitigation bill

The title to this post is a bit of an overbid, but this is still a good thing. President Obama on Monday signed into law a bill that could help expedite the long process of constructing a hurricane protection system for the Texas coast, including the particularly vulnerable Houston region. The “Water Infrastructure Improvements for the […]

Cornyn files bill to speed up floodgate construction process

Credit where credit is due. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn filed legislation Wednesday that he says would expedite the long process of constructing a hurricane protection system for the Texas coast, including the particularly vulnerable Houston region. But while local officials cheered the high-profile support, it’s unclear how much the measure would actually speed anything up. […]

Don’t expect Congress to pay for a Gulf Coast floodgate system

I sure don’t. After nearly a decade of bickering and finger pointing, Texas scientists and lawmakers finally seem to agree that building some version of a “coastal spine” — a massive seawall and floodgate system — would best help protect the Houston region from a devastating hurricane. But with a price tag sure to reach […]

On drainage and flooding

Two items of interest from Gray Matters, both on the subject of the week. First, from Cynthia Hand Neely and Ed Browne of Residents Against Flooding: Man-made, preventable flooding has surged dirty, sewage-ridden water through Houston living rooms three times now in seven years, yet city government fails to prevent these recurring emergencies. Really? If […]

Those damn dams

In case you didn’t have enough to worry about. Here’s the deal with what could be a terrible threat to Houston: most of the time, it isn’t. In fact, it’s a 26,000 acre recreational greenspace on Houston’s west side. It lies on both sides of the Katy Freeway at Highway 6. On one side is […]

Paxton asks judge to block EPA water rules in Texas

The basic story: Texas has asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a new rule that expands authority over which water bodies the U.S. government can regulate. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made the request Tuesday in an 88-page court document. The request comes in the wake of a federal court ruling in North […]

Bayou trails update

Coming along nicely. Houston’s Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative will build 150 miles of hike and bike trails along the city’s nine waterways, a $220 million effort that Mayor Annise Parker says is “one of the most exciting things I’ve had the opportunity to work on as mayor” – and which is only now gathering steam. […]

Who needs wetlands?

Development is all that matters, right? More than 38,000 acres of wetlands vanished in greater Houston over the past two decades despite a federal policy that “no net loss” can be caused by encroaching development. That’s an area about the size of The Woodlands and Sugar Land combined turned into neighborhoods, office buildings, strip malls, […]

Another floodgate proposed

Third time’s the charm, right? Academic leaders have long beseeched government officials to learn from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and harden the upper Texas coast against future threats. Finally, on Monday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility […]

Bayou battle

Another one of our local disputes that has been picked up by national interests. A Harris County Flood Control District proposal, submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers in April, would reconfigure and stabilize about a third of the semi-natural bayou left inside Loop 610. And it would do so using an approach called Natural […]

Radack finally gets to implement his feral hog plan

I can’t wait to see how well this works out. Locally sourced pork finally may be on the menu for needy Houston-area families as Harris County Precinct 3 launches its most ambitious effort yet to eradicate feral hogs damaging parkland and neighborhoods around the Barker and Addicks reservoirs. Within a month, precinct employees hope to […]

Who needs flood control?

Not Harris County, apparently. Harris County, despite a history of costly floods, appears likely to scale back its flood control work in the coming years in the face of declining federal funding. In a typical year, the county gets about $30 million in flood control work from the Army Corps of Engineers, Harris County Flood […]

Lawsuit filed to stop Grand Parkway

We’ll see how it goes. The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit to block construction of the Grand Parkway in west Harris County until federal and state officials conduct a new analysis of the flooding consequences. The environmental group says the 15-mile toll road may increase runoff into Addicks dam, which the Army Corps of […]

No hog hunting

Bummer. Remember the plan Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack floated to allow bowhunting of feral hogs in George Bush Park, both as pest control and boon for the local food banks? The Army Corps of Engineers, which had say-so on this matter since the park was federally created as a flood control measure, put the […]