Flood cleanup to begin on Buffalo Bayou

- Crews are scheduled to begin removing flood debris left by Hurricane Harvey from the Buffalo Bayou on Tuesday.

The Harris County Flood Control District spent Monday working with contractors to pull several barges into the bayou at the Willowend Drive boat ramp.

Crews are scheduled to load the flood debris onto the barges for disposal.

“There’s spa covers and porches, a lot of downed trees,” said Jeff Jowell, chief inspector for the Harris County Flood Control District. “The majority of it will be the downed trees.”

The bayou has been littered with debris from Hurricane Harvey’s flooding for the last two months.

“Well, it was well above our head right here,” said Jowell. “There’s a debris line I would say 20+ feet on top of where we’re standing now.”

The water level is finally low enough to begin debris removal explained Jowell.

“Our biggest concern is the large trees that can create blockages and reduce the amount of flow that the bayou can handle,” said Jowell.

The cleanup on Buffalo Bayou will cover 15-to-20 miles of water, running from Shepherd Drive upstream and nearing State Highway 6, according to Jowell. He expects the project to take several months.

“Having to access it via waterway, the barges and the boats, they’re slow moving,” said Jowell. He added that people living along the bayou may have to deal with some noise from chainsaws and airboats during the clean-up process.

“They’ll place a small excavator on top of the barge," said Jowell. "It’ll be transported upstream and downstream with another boat.”

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