Buffalo Bayou weathers another flooding event

- It was around a week ago that parts of Harris County saw nine inches of rain within a few hours, leading to flooding along the Buffalo Bayou. That of course, delayed the continued cleanup following Hurricane Harvey. 

Crews are back at it as they work to complete a bayou cleanup that has taken almost a year.

“Buffalo Bayou is a very difficult place to work," said Obie Corley. He would know since he is part of Aftermath Disaster Recovery, based out of Prosper, Texas. Corley and his team are on a contract to help with removal of debris from the Buffalo bayou.

“After Hurricane Sandy, we cleaned up waterways all over New Jersey," described Corley. "Last year after Matthew, we worked in Beaufort County, South Carolina. None of the challenges anywhere near what we have here.”

The Buffalo Bayou, carved out from colossal rains, muddied and still drenched with Harvey’s debris flooded again on Independence Day.

“Anytime that the water rises like that and it comes through here with such force, there’s new damage every time that that takes place," said Corley.

“Seems like a new norm so to speak," said Jeff Jowell, chief inspector with Harris County Flood Control District. "We get these really, really heavy rainfall events, they’ll just come out of nowhere. They don’t have to be related to a tropical system or anything like that.”

The goal was to be finished with debris removal along the Buffalo Bayou by June 1. 

“We removed 6,000 tons or about 12,000,000 pounds of debris," said Jowell.

Just like too much rain, not enough of it spells trouble for workers on the water. 

“Unfortunately, it’s kind of too much rain or too little rain sometimes," said Jowell, who explained that progress has been slower than expected due to lower water levels along the Buffalo, especially in May and early June.

Work has since resumed, now 75 percent complete with only weeks left go until the Buffalo Bayou is cleared, assuming Mother Nature cooperates. 

"We see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’re hoping it'll be getting done here real soon," said Jowell.

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