On Tuesday, June 27th, Dannenbaum Engineering participated in a town hall meeting to present the findings of the Jersey Village Long Term Flood Recovery Planning Study. The final written report should be available sometime in August, but we now have an overview of the recommendations made by Dannenbaum to reduce the risk of future flooding.
If you didn’t make it to the meeting, I recommend watching this video. It’s nearly 23 minutes in length, but it will provide a good overview of the process and the recommendations.
Golf Course Berm
The first proposal is the building of earthen berms along the majority of the golf course boundaries.
You can see more details by clicking on the image above. As indicated in the legend of this map, there is an elevation of 108 feet on the berm marked in red. My understanding is that the berm would average a height of about 7 feet from the existing groundlevel around the golf course to achieve this elevation.
The goal of this design is to keep rain that has fallen onto the course from moving onto surrounding residential streets and to reduce the flow of water from the course into the bayou system. This will reduce the street flooding that has occurred on Wall Street and will open up additional capacity in the bayou for other storm drainage.
This project will cost approximately $750,000 and will likely be included in the proposed budget that will be discussed during the July city council budget meetings.
Street Drainage Improvements
The next proposal is to improve the streets and drainage on Wall, Carlsbad, Crawford, Capri, and Tahoe.
The study found that drainage in these areas was insufficient and would require building additional storm drainage inlets and larger capacity storm sewer pipes.
This project will cost approximately $2,000,000 for the storm sewer replacement and $3,750,000 for the street improvements, for a total of $5,750,000.
White Oak Bayou Channel Improvements
The study also recommended changes to the north fork of the White Oak Bayou channel which runs through Jersey Village.
The study determined that the channel that runs south of Wall Street could not reasonably be modified in a way that would produce significant flood mitigation benefits. Instead, the north fork, as illustrated above in yellow, could be modified as illustrated below:
This improvement would not require acquisition of any additional land around the banks of the bayou, but would substantially increase capacity of the channel.
Unfortunately, the City of Jersey Village does not have jurisdiction to complete this improvement alone. The Harris County Flood Control District will ultimately be responsible for implementing any changes to the channel.
The approximate cost of this project would be $4,600,000.
Non-Structural Flood Damage Reduction
All of the above proposals are termed “structural changes”, meaning that they deal with modifications to infrastructure in the city, rather than to individual homes. The study determined that if all of the above projects are implemented, all homes would be saved from flooding in the event of a 25 year storm, 85% of structures previously at risk of flooding in a 50-year storm would be saved, and 38% of homes at risk in a 100-year storm event would be saved from flooding.
For the remaining homes, 60 were identified as being candidates for either buyouts or elevation to raise the home out of the flood plain. The cost, depending on participation in these improvements by home owners and the solutions chosen for each property could run as high as $11,500,000.
Where do we go from here?
I support moving forward during this upcoming fiscal year with the golf course berm project and the street improvements. Funding for these projects will likely come from a combination of general funds and grant money. It’s possible that we may also need to issue bonds to finance some of the long-term projects.
I look forward to working with the city staff and my colleagues on city council to identify the best sources of funding for these projects and moving forward to implement them quickly and responsibly. I also look forward to talking with Rep. John Culberson in the near future about his efforts to obtain federal funding for the White Oak Bayou channel improvements.