Buffalo Bayou watershed meeting set for Monday, July 30, ahead of special August 25 election
Floodway buyouts, bayou channel modifications, stormwater detention basins, wetland mitigation banks … that and much more are all on the table as Harris County will ask voters to approve $2.5 billion in emergency flood risk reduction bonds on August 25.
On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey – tied with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone in United States history – Harris County residents will vote on the bonds, intended to fund projects that make the county more resilient to flooding. Harvey swamped the Houston area, leaving in its wake an estimated $125 billion in damage.
In the Energy Corridor alone, more than 9,500 residents were affected, with thousands of homes and numerous businesses damaged or destroyed as a result of Harvey.
Prior to the election, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is asking Houston region residents to weigh in with their own assessment for reducing flood risk. HCFCD is holding community engagement meetings by watershed.
Energy Corridor residents, employees and business owners/managers will have their say at the Buffalo Bayou Watershed Community Meeting, 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 30, at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, 12955 Memorial Drive.
While HCFCD representatives will discuss the list of potential flood risk reduction projects, the county is also asking residents for their own ideas or to share flood-prone areas not listed on the county’s proposed bond projects list.
Several large-scale projects are being considered by Harris County, including channel modifications to improve modifications to improve stormwater conveyance; regional stormwater detention basins; major repairs to flood-damaged drainage infrastructure; removing sediment and silt clogged drainage channels; voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties; creating wetland mitigation banks; property acquisition for preserving natural floodplains; drainage improvements in partnership with other cities, utility districts or government agencies; and upgrading the Harris County Flood Warning System.
A complete list of proposed projects for the $2.5 flood bond can be seen here.
More than 150 potential projects can be viewed by watershed using an interactive map.
According to HCFCD, some of the bond funds would be used in participation agreements with the federal government. Bond funds would be used to provide the “local match” funding required for such federal partnerships, which allows the county to make these funds go much futher on bigger projects.
Energy Corridor and Harris County residents can also submit comments for the bond election online here.
For more information on the emergency bond election, proposed projects and community engagement meetings, visit here.