The temporary strategy, which began in 2018 as a response to Hurricane Harvey, annually lowers Lake Conroe 1 foot in April and May and 2 feet in August and September. Lake Conroe residents have argued the lowering makes accessing the lake difficult and reduces lakefront property values. Lake Houston residents have asked for the initiative to continue until the Lake Houston dam gates are completed in August 2022.
Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said Humble residents should attend the SJRA vote on Feb. 20 to show support for the lake lowering strategy.
"Our city actually drains very good, our infrastructure is just as good as we can get it," he said. "The problem is, when the river back-floods into our city, we have no control—we can't stop it. So [the resolution] is one way we can have our say."
During Harvey, floodwater from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River flooded nearly 400 homes and more than 60 businesses in the city of Humble, Aaron said. He said Humble businesses will not be able to recover if another flood event like Harvey happens again.
"If we don't get major rain—if we don't get storms—then we won't have any problems," Aaron said. "But if we do, these businesses can't reopen. If they ever flood again, they're probably not going to reopen. There's just no way that they can."
Council Member Charles Cunningham agreed with Aaron and said he attended the SJRA's special meeting on Jan. 21 at which Lake Conroe and Lake Houston residents approached the board of directors with their varying opinions on the lake strategy. SJRA staff also gave a presentation on the benefits and risk of the strategy.
"I just want to say that [the SJRA's presentation] was a good presentation," Cunningham said. "I just don't know if the folks on Conroe were listening to the presentation."
The SJRA board will vote on the issue at its Feb. 20 special board meeting, which is set to be at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center at 9055 Airport Road, Conroe. Click here to read more coverage about the issue.
Other agenda items:
- City Council unanimously approved City Manager Jason Stuebe's employment contract. Stuebe took the city manager position in January 2017, and his contract must be reapproved every two years by council.
- City Council unanimously approved street closures along Main Street for Humble's upcoming Good Oil Days on April 2-4. The annual celebration includes a sip and stroll April 2, a street dance April 3 and a festival April 4. Main Street will be closed between roughly Avenue A and Avenue E from 5-9 p.m. April 2; between Avenue B and Avenue C from 3 p.m. April 3 to the end of the festival April 4; and between Avenue A and Avenue E from 5 a.m.-6 p.m. April 4, according to the board agenda packet.