Howdy WHA Members!
Despite this summer continuing to be a scorcher and we have been facing drought conditions across the region, it’s actually hurricane season. So, while flooding might not be on the mind of most people these days, it is still a critical issue that we are continuing to work on! You might notice that quite a bit of this month’s newsletter is dedicated to flooding and drainage issues.
One update for everyone to be aware of is the Sec 7001 proposal submitted by Harris County Flood Control District to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the end of August. The proposal calls for a study of excavation in the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, a concept that the USACE wrote off in their 2020 draft of the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study (BBTRS). Houston Stronger met with the USACE earlier this year with a preliminary study on excavation of the reservoirs. The USACE suggested proposing a formal study through the Section 7001 process. The proposal will go before congress in the months ahead and we will work to get the study funded as part of the 2024 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
Earlier in August, WHA held our annual flood control forum; this time focused on flood funding. The event included Heather Lagrone, Senior Deputy Director over Disaster Recovery Programs at the Texas General Land Office and Tina Petersen, Executive Director of the Harris County Flood Control District. With approximately 150 people in attendance, flood funding is clearly an issue that the WHA membership cares a lot about. If you missed the event, we did put together a short summary that also includes a list of the CDBG projects Harris County Commissioners Court submitted to GLO back in June.
Speaking of things not to miss, please be sure to check out the open letter by WHA Flood Control and Drainage Committee Chair Tim Buscha regarding the 100-year vs 500-year storm event design standard. This is an important topic of conversation as new data becomes available changing the existing maps developed years ago. As you think about this issue, keep in mind that on October 11th we will be holding our Public Officials and Awards Reception and November 16th we are planning a Texas Legislative Update with Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dade Phelan. These are both events where there will be the opportunity to discuss flooding and drainage issues.
In the meantime, you can drop in on a WHA Committee! In September the Government Affairs Committee is meeting on the 11th, the Flood Control & Drainage Committee is meeting on the 11th, the Sustainable Infrastructure Committee is meeting on the 12th, the Quality Planned Development Committee is meeting on the 21st, and the Water Resources Committee is meeting on the 21st. If you would like to be added to the email list or calendar invites for these committees, or any others, please let us know.
Since this month is so focused on flooding, I also want to bring to your attention three Town Hall meetings the newly created Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District will be hosting soon: October 5th at the George H.W. Bush Community Center, October 11th at the Timber Lane Community Center, and October 25th at Coles Crossing Community Center. The objectives of the Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District are to prepare a comprehensive flood mitigation strategy and a companion funding plan and the purpose of the Town Halls are to engage the community in a continuing conversation to develop comprehensive flood mitigation plans through public workshops. For more information about the district or these events, you are reach out to email@example.com.
Thank you for your support of the West Houston Association and working to improve quality of life for the 2,000,000+ people who live, work, and play across the region!