Harris, Montgomery counties seek state funds to study San Jacinto River, Spring Creek

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The Harris County Flood Control District was authorized to partner with Montgomery County and apply for grant funding to study flood mitigation projects near the San Jacinto River and Spring Creek at a Harris County Commissioners Court meeting Jan. 9.

Spring Creek and San Jacinto River watersheds and their tributaries will be assessed during the study, which is estimated to cost $1.25 million and begin as early as the second quarter of 2018, said Darren Hess, director of homeland security and emergency management for Montgomery County. The flood mitigation plan will examine and implement projects on tributaries and reservoirs to potentially reduce flooding.

The two counties will apply for the Texas Water Development Board’s Flood Protection Planning Grant, which if approved could fund up to 50 percent of the study, County Judge Ed Emmett said. The Texas Water Development Board is a state agency that manages water resources and provides funding through grants and low interest loans for projects.

The study must be comprehensive to be approved, according to information on the TWDB website.

“Upstream and or downstream effects of proposed solutions must be considered in the planning,” according to the Texas Water Development Board’s website. “The proposed planning must be regional in nature by considering the flood protection needs of the entire watershed.”

Hurricane Harvey, which dropped trillions of gallons of water on Harris County, has forced the county to think more about mitigation projects along the San Jacinto River and Spring Creek, which serves as the boundary between Harris and Montgomery counties, Emmett said.

“The San Jacinto River and Spring Creek—that whole watershed—because it exists between the two counties, there’s no way around it, it has been a little bit neglected,” Emmett said. “It hasn’t been a major problem except obviously during Harvey when the San Jacinto River Authority decided to open the floodgates of Lake Conroe. And all that water came down in the middle of the night and flooded the people of Kingwood.”

1 comments
COMMENT
  1. What? Yet another study on flooding issues in the San Jacinto River watershed? Year after year TWDB and TECQ fork out multiple grants to study the same issue. There never seems to be a report generated, no published conclusions, and definitely no physical action taken to mitigate the ever increasing flooding.

    How expensive can it be to send a few engineers down the river channel to count the log jams and debris piles that hinder the flow and trap sediment? Spring Creek, Lake Creek and White Oak Creek are also choked with debris and logjams.

    Forgive the Montgomery County residents for not cheering and throwing a parade…. we’re busy bracing for the next spring floods as we try to recover from Harvey. Let us see these public officials get their feet dirty by actually walking the river and stream banks instead of throwing more money down the drain.
    Evelyn Lowery

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Christopher Shelton

Chris Shelton is an experienced writer and editor who has worked for Community Impact since he graduated from the University of Houston in 2015. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Houston Business Journal. He also enjoys lively discussions about personal finance, sports and Hip Hop.

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