President – Wimbledon Estates HOA
Flood Report #4
As usual there is good news and bad news on the flood mitigation front.
First, any homeowner who does not have flood insurance needs to buy it, now. Why? In Harris County we are subject to tropical inundations which are only becoming more frequent. As Jeff Lindner, meteorologist for Harris County Flood Control, says: if you think you are safe from flooding because you didn’t flood during Harvey – you are 100% wrong.
While much of Harvey flooding was from rising streams, in Harris County we also experience sheet flow. A storm ‘parks’ over a neighborhood and drops an incredible amount of rain in a short period. At the rate of around 2”/hour the storm sewers are overloaded, the streets start to flood and water starts moving in sheets, sometimes leading to flooding of areas well away from streams. Our clay soils are reluctant to absorb water at a rapid rate, exacerbating the problem.
Of interest, after Harvey those with flood insurance received from FEMA an average of $113,000 for home repair. Those without flood insurance received between $4-7,000 in aid. Homeowners without flood insurance in Harris County are gambling.
Secondly, Harris County Flood Control runs a ‘home buyout’ program for those homeowners who have repeatedly flooded. The program has taken some homeowners out of harm’s way but has limited funding and largely relies on grants from other government entities. Nevertheless, if a homeowner wants to be part of this voluntary home sale to Harris County, they need to get on the list. Go to: www.hcfcd.org and select the “Home Buyout” icon which will lead you to the proper page. As HCFCD admits, it’s confusing. Skip the deep dive into policy and go to the “Notice of Voluntary Interest Form”. Fill out the form and pray for the best.
The current flood bond proposal is hoping to receive matching federal funds to allow for the buyout of around 450 homes in precincts 3 & 4. Considering that we had 10,000 structures flood along Cypress Creek during Harvey and 1,600 flood during the Tax Day storm, you can see the odds are pretty long. But some will win the lottery and be bought out – you must apply to win.
Cypress Creek Association – Stop the Flooding