At the Jan. 7 Fort Bend County Drainage District regular meeting, the board of directors voted 4-0 to take action on an interlocal agreement with Harris County Flood Control District that involves installing five rain gauges to monitor rain levels. Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers was absent from the meeting.
Under the agreement, FBCDD will pay HCFCD $15,250 to install the five gauges, which will provide real-time rainfall and water channel levels data that will be publicly available on the Flood Warning System website.
"[The gauges] will help us for future preparedness for any type of flooding," Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales said at the meeting." It is something the drainage district is moving forward and trying to make sure that we keep everyone as safe as possible with the actual data that we can collect sooner rather than later."
The five gauges are expected to operational by May, said Jeff Janecek, FBCDD’s first assistant to chief engineer. The Atlantic basin—which includes the Gulf of Mexico—hurricane season begins June 1, according to the National Hurricane Center.
HCFCD will maintain the new gauges and the existing five that were previously installed in Fort Bend County, per the agreement. Janecek said HCFCD installs rain gauges outside the Harris County boundary so that it can monitor channels that flow into Harris County.
FBCDD oversees another six gauges, according to the Harris County FWS website.
The five new gauges will tentatively be placed near the following locations, Janecek said:
- Oyster Creek and Mason Road in the Richmond area
- Flewellen Creek and FM 1093 near Fulshear
- Red Gully and West Airport Road in the Sugar Land area
- Fairchild Creek and FM 360 near Needville
- Rabbs Bayou at either Del Webb Boulevard or Hwy. 59
FBCDD submitted an application for a federal grant to help the district pay for an additional 30 rain gauges, Janecek said. If the application is approved, then funds from the $83 million flood bond approved by voters in November will go toward the project.