HOUSTON - This weekend marks 5 years since the Memorial Day flood. The damage was catastrophic to our area, and eight people lost their lives.
Memorial Day plans were cut short for residents of Meyerland in 2015 when a storm came in dumping 162 billion gallons of water in a 9 hour period. Many homes became flooded, and while they tried to recover they were hit again with the Tax Day flood, and later Hurricane Harvey. Harris County Flood Control District began a project costing $480 million to fix the problem.
Gary Zika, the Federal Projects Manager of the Harris County Flood Control District tells FOX 26 “We’re probably about 85% done with all the work no it. There’s four big regional detention basins. They’re all complete the upstream of Meyerland. We’ve done all the channel work from the ship channel all the way up to Fondren.”
Since construction began Braes Bayou has been widened to allow 30% more water to flow downstream, but there are still more projects that need to be completed. Zika says “And the next thing we're going to be doing in the area is the hill craft bridge which is due to start in June. We're going to actually be raising the bridge to get it up out of the flow of the water going down the channel and rebuild the intersections at North and South Braeswood. And we're also working on the south rice and chimney rock bridges. They're also both be replaced, it will be early next year like this year that will be doing the construction and should have it all finished. By the end of 2021."
Although still under construction residents have positive reviews of the work done so far. Michelle Wiggs says, “I think all the work they did in the Bayou, you definitely see a difference whenever we have a rain.“
Jane Rocha agrees “I feel better with this project in place, to be honest with you. I feel more nervous about having a pandemic and a flood at the same time.“
Houston Council Member Abbie Kamin oversees District C and tells FOX 26 she had been working hard to address construction concerns. “My office is constantly on top of it. If there are issues residence can always reach out to us again at our email address or call us and we will get you the information that you need and we will be sure to keep a close eye on everything.”
Residents of Meyerland and other areas prone to flooding can be proactive by making sure their water drains are kept clear, you can also sign up for alerts at http://readyhouston.wpengine.com/partners/offices-of-emergency-management/