Flood control district demolishing three homes to build stormwater swales in Westbury

Willow Waterhole
Construction on swales in the Westbury neighborhood begins Monday to help with collecting stormwater and delivering it to the Willow Waterhole Bayou. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Construction on swales in the Westbury neighborhood begins Monday to help with collecting stormwater and delivering it to the Willow Waterhole Bayou. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Harris County Flood Control District will begin demolishing three purchased properties in Westbury’s southwest neighborhood on March 16 to make way for new stormwater swales, the flood control district announced.

The swales, long, gently sloping, landscaped depressions, will collect stormwater and direct excess overflow into Willow Waterhole Bayou, once construction is completed.

"The soon-to-be-installed swales will minimize street flooding in the neighborhood and help to improve local drainage during heavy rainfall events," said Matt Zeve, deputy executive director for the flood-control district, in a news release. "The properties will be transformed into environmentally-friendly flood risk mitigation projects for the benefit of the entire neighborhood."

Demolition and installation of the swales, funded by the 2018 flood bond, will take place at 5747 Cartagena St., 5638 Ludington Dr., and 5730 Ludington Drive. Demolition of the homes and construction of the swales will take a total of about two to three weeks, said Rob Lazaro, a spokesman for the Harris County Flood Control District.

“People are sick and tired of flooding along Willow Waterhole Bayou,” said Cindy Chapman, president of Westbury Civic Club. “So any steps that are made, residents will appreciate the help.”


The homes purchased sit on properties located on the lowest point of their streets, according to the news release.

The project will complement Houston’s upcoming capital improvement efforts in Westbury to reduce street flooding by upgrading the neighborhood drainage system.

“Our neighborhood stormwater system was designed in the 1950s, so design standards have changed,” Chapman said. “The existing piping is very undersized.”

The flood control district is reminding motorists of potential traffic interruptions, and to keep children and pets a safe distance away from the project sites.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.