League City hosting meetings on drainage projects

League City officials said they recognize that every day that passes without drainage projects complete is another day residents are at risk for their homes being flooded. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City officials said they recognize that every day that passes without drainage projects complete is another day residents are at risk for their homes being flooded. (Courtesy city of League City)

League City officials said they recognize that every day that passes without drainage projects complete is another day residents are at risk for their homes being flooded. (Courtesy city of League City)

On May 15, some areas of League City received 5 to 6 inches of rain in about an hour, making it one of the heaviest rainfalls since May 4, 2019, when residents approved a $73 bond for numerous drainage projects around the city.

The flooding has residents concerned, and the city is responding in turn with drainage-focused meetings throughout the month. Several residents from flood-prone subdivisions showed up at League City City Council’s May 26 meeting to voice concerns.

“Every time we have a hard rain, ... [we’re] just waiting for our houses to flood. It doesn’t take a hurricane anymore,” The Meadows resident Ruth Thompson told City Council. “We have become the dam, and it’s like a swimming pool.”

League City officials said they recognize that every day that passes without drainage projects complete is another day residents are at risk for their homes being flooded, and they are working to advance 21 planned drainage projects.

Of the 21 projects, 12 are under design, five are eligible for grants that prevent design work from taking place until grants are awarded, and four are scheduled for design from 2021-23. City Council has directed staff to accelerate these projects and have them all under design by the end of the year, City Manager John Baumgartner said.


The city will share details on projects planned for the Bay Ridge subdivision at 6 p.m. June 22 at the Johnnie Alrofo Civic Center, 400 W. Walker St., League City.

On June 30 at 7 p.m., the city will host a virtual town hall at www.facebook.com/leaguecitytexas to share an overview on the status of the city’s 21 projects.

Typically, it takes a year to design a project, another year to acquire land and another year for construction. Additionally, the city cannot do all drainage projects simultaneously, especially with several road projects underway, Baumgartner said.

“None of it’s moving as fast as we want it to,” Baumgartner said.

This fall, contractors will begin on two of the four flood-reduction projects in the Bay Ridge subdivision. The first two projects will add a 42,000-gallon-per-minute stormwater pump to the neighborhood’s existing detention pond and overflow wales at certain roads to allow for stormwater outfall into the pond.

Sarah Greer Osborne, League City’s director of communications and media relations, said the city wanted to start construction in May, but COVID-19 put those plans on hold. The heavy rain in mid-May brought the issue back to the forefront of people’s minds, she said.

“It’s kinda all coming together,” Osborne said.

Officials started with drainage projects in Bay Ridge, Oaks of Clear Creek and The Meadows because those subdivisions have suffered the most from flooding over the years. Those from The Meadows voiced urgency at City Council’s May 26 meeting, and Baumgartner told them their neighborhood is next on the list, he said.

Over the years, the city has tried diverting flow, maintaining drainage ditches and mowing and clearing outfalls, but for some areas, this has not been enough, Baumgartner said.

“They’re not easy problems to solve, or we would have solved them years ago,” Baumgartner said. “As a city, we can’t quite control everything.”
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

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