Action along Cypress Creek
While our attention is riveted on the hazard of the coronavirus, we must remember the clock is still ticking on catastrophic flooding along Cypress Creek. Since the year 2000 we have had 7 floods and nothing has changed to prevent another. What is happening now?
While many of you have seen the maintenance projects ongoing around the area by HCFCD, these projects only seek to return Cy Creek to its pre-Harvey condition. This means a creek which can handle a 5-7″ rainfall. Future floods will be in the 10-13″ range, ala Imelda last fall or the Tax Day flood. We need some way to handle the water. Detention may be the answer. According to the Michael Baker study, along Cypress Creek we need 25,000 acre/feet of detention. This means 25,000 acres covered with one foot of water, or 2,500 acres covered by 10 feet of water. Or any combination thereof. As you can see, it’s a lot. And it must be distributed along the creek, not all in one spot.
Activity has begun around the TC Jester detention site. Survey crews have moved in along with heavy equipment to open the area up. There has been some minor pushback from a mountain biking club which established unauthorized trails on HCFCD property but the work is progressing. Expect Army Corps’ permits and state historical approval in the next two months. Hopefully earth will start to move out of the area immediately west of TC Jester in the June/July time frame. There will be a public meeting to discuss the final plan for this facility either via virtual meeting online or, if social distancing eases, in person. Of the two basins to be located here, the western basin here will only be 30+ acres but the eastern basin will be 140+ acres.
Along the same lines Harris County Commissioners’ Court approved, in March, the effort by HCFCD to purchase ~35 acres from HP near the Lone Star College-UP campus, at Faulkey Gulley and Cy Creek, for detention. This deal is not yet completed. This small facility will complement the 100 Acre Wood and Kickerillo Preserve at Vintage.
The Champions Detention Basin is being illustrated by a very nice video on the HCFCD website. This illustration is only one concept of detention at the former Raveneaux County Club location. Click here:
There will be a public comment meeting, virtual or in person, to set the final configuration of the facility. Also at the above link is a “Take our survey” tab. Please click on it and take the survey. Why? Tell HCFCD that flood control along Cy Creek is very important to you and our community. There is a very vocal group in the area that is resistant to change or flood control. While the Champions Basin could constitute 10% of the needed detention along the creek, and the Champions Forest area would see the greatest drop in flood levels of the entire watershed and knowledgeable real estate brokers believe a properly done basin will increase property values, there is still vocal opposition. Don’t allow a vexed minority to speak for our community or perpetuate flooding along Cy Creek.
There are other plans for detention along Cy Creek which are not as far along as the above. But when we break ground at the TC Jester facility hopefully that action will be celebrated by citizens, elected officials and civic leaders as finally a start on preserving our community. It is only a start and we must keep moving forward – remember the 25,000 acre/feet that we need. We have a long way to go but maybe we can actually get started. Stay tuned.
Please forward this to friends, relatives, colleagues, anyone interested in flood control along Cypress Creek. For more information visit http://www.cycreekstoptheflooding.com