Representative Murphy Offers Comments on the Harris County Flood Control Bond Program
Buffalo Bayou runs entirely through House District 133 and many residents of our district are still feeling the effects of flooding from Harvey rainfall and releases from Addicks and Barker reservoirs. As the primary waterway for conveyance from these reservoirs and a major component of flood control in Houston, Buffalo Bayou is an essential part of long-term mitigation planning. As such, please consider the following recommendations which focus primarily on conveyance and detention projects along and around Buffalo Bayou as you consider finalizing a list of projects to be funded by the bonds that will be voted on in August. In evaluating these potential projects, please consider cost-effectiveness as a measuring criteria to ensure the most effective and appropriate application of taxpayer dollars.
- Increasing capacity in Addicks and Barker reservoirs and the adjacent reservoir pools to mitigate upstream flooding as well as increase downstream conveyance.
- Modifying conveyance in Buffalo Bayou through construction of bypasses on oxbows, especially east of Beltway 8. The addition of bypass channels can accommodate increased flow from upstream conveyance and prevent flooding that occurs when the natural shape of the bayou is unable to accommodate increased capacity.
- Dredging of Buffalo Bayou to increase conveyance capacity.
- Adding detention basin construction and linear detention projects, especially on land already owned by the district.
- Acquiring rights to existing easements to further develop detention projects where the project can be identified as necessary or superior to a project on land already owned by the district.
- Upgrading and expansion of the Harris County Flood Control Warning System.
Each of these projects represents a viable, long-term strategy for future flood damage reduction and does so using established industry techniques. Through these increased detention and conveyance efforts, HCFCD has an opportunity to provide substantial and lasting relief to thousands of Houstonians. I thank you for your consideration of these comments. As always, please let me know if I can be of any assistance.