Cy-Fair Edition | November 2020

ENVIRONMENT

R E S T O R I N G THERESERVOIRS

The Army Corps of Engineers released an interim report Oct. 5 on how to address ooding around the Addicks and Barker reservoirs and along Bualo Bayou. No concepts have been ocially recommended as studies continue, but several concepts emerged as early options.

SOURCE: ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

C Y P R E S S C R E E K RESERVOIR AND DAM

B U F F A L O B A Y O U IMPROVEMENTS

P R O P E R T Y ACQUISITION

S C R E E N E D CONCEPTS

“THE REPORT DESCRIBES EVALUATIONS TODATE; IT DOES NOT ... MAKE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS ORDECISIONS.” COL. TIMOTHY VAIL, COMMANDER OF ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS GALVESTON DISTRICT Several other concepts were screened out in the study but still remain as options pending public comments. • underground tunnel • excavation of reservoirs • diverting water from the Bualo Bayou to the Brays Bayou and/or Brazos River

290

99

290

610

BUFFALO BAYOU

ADDICKS RESERVOIR

362

10

10

BARKER RESERVOIR

POSSIBLE RESERVOIR LOCATION

6

6

69

N

N

N

529

COST: $946 million-$1.2 billion ANNUAL DAMAGE PREVENTED: $56 million

COST: $2.1 billion-$2.9 billion ANNUAL DAMAGE PREVENTED: $37 million • located upstream of the Addicks Reservoir • capacity of roughly 190,000 acre-feet of water

COST: $6.8 billion-$13 billion ANNUAL DAMAGE PREVENTED: more analysis needed • 9,700-11,700 properties in Barker Reservoir • 5,000-13,100 properties in Addicks Reservoir

• deepening and widening • 22 miles from Hwy. 6 to Studemont Street

Cypress Creek reservoir among viable options for oodmitigation inAddickswatershed

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

released,” Vail said. The study was launched in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which produced record levels of water in the two reservoirs in 2017. Of the eight concepts explored in the report—referred to as “alternatives”— three were dropped during initial evaluations while four others remain in focus. However, the ideas that were dropped are still on the table pending public feedback. The reservoir concept would have a capacity of roughly 190,000 acre-feet of water and would be located on the Harris-Waller county line, west of John Paul’s Landing in an area known as the Katy Prairie. “While it is not anticipated that the [Katy Prairie] habitats would be

completely lost, it is very likely that they would have lower habitat qual- ity than under the existing condition or no action alternative,” according to the report. Aside from the reservoir, other top alternatives include the potential acquisition of between 14,700- 24,100 properties upstream and downstream of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs totaling between $6.8 billion-$13 billion. In an email statement, Army Corps ocials declined to comment on the likelihood of moving in that direction. “The real estate alternative ... uniquely addresses upstream properties closest to the reservoirs; however, commenting specically on the acquisition alternative would

be speculative at this point since no decisions have been made regarding the alternatives included in the [report],” said Lynda Yezzi-Valentine, the chief of public aairs for the Army Corps Galveston District, in the email. The report, which also seeks to address ooding on Bualo Bayou, also evaluated a concept that involves 22 miles of channel improvements— mainly deepening and widening— along Bualo Bayou starting from Hwy. 6 to Studemont Street. The public comment period is slated to end Nov. 2. Army Corps o- cials said they estimate issuing a draft feasibility report and environmental impact statement for public review and comment in early 2021.

The plan for addressing ooding surrounding the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in Houston took a step forward Oct. 5, and early evalua- tions have ocials looking toward a potential reservoir in the lower Cypress Creek watershed. The interim report, released by the Army Corps of Engineers, is part of a larger, ongoing study into the feasibility of dierent ood control projects in the area. Col. Timothy Vail, the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District, said the report does not make any ocial recommendations. “This interim step is intended to gather public feedback before a draft environmental impact statement is

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CYFAIR EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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