HCFCD [Flow]

Harris County Flood Control District “FLOW”

This section contains excerpts from the “FLOW” newsletter dated September 1999. It is not the entire FLOW.

This newsletter provides an update on the status of the Clear Creek Federal Flood Control Project. During the second half of 1997, while the six-month sponsor review of the project was being undertaken, the Clear Creek Project Team received input from more than 3,000 citizens. These citizens are our stakeholders. From the beginning, you who are stakeholders have been a very important part of this project. We want you to know what is going on and to continue to stay involved.

In December 1997, the local sponsors of the Clear Creek Federal Flood Control Project (Harris and Galveston counties) identified proposed enhancements and updates to the authorized federal project in response to credible, responsible and qualified objections from concerned citizens, organizations and governmental entities. The commissioners courts of both counties asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District (the Corps) to adopt as many enhancements and updates as possible, without losing the federal funding or delaying the implementation. In response to this request, the Corps evaluated and compared the sponsor-proposed alternative to the congressionally-authorized project. In February 1999, the Corps informed the sponsors that a “general reevaluation study” was needed because the scope of the sponsor-proposed changes was beyond the discretionary authority of the Corps Division Commander to approve.

In April 1999, after consulting with watershed stakeholders, Harris County and Galveston County agreed to accept the Corps recommendation to conduct the general reevaluation study and encouraged completion in less than the Corps’ estimated 3-year duration. The general reevaluation study will be comprehensive, considering among other things: site conditions, effects, engineering design, economic justification, maintenance issues and public input. The study will reconsider the currently authorized project, as well as the sponsor-proposed alternative, buyout and other alternatives that are deemed reasonable. Remember, the congressional authorization for this federal project only allows the consideration of reducing flood damage caused by rainfall runoff along the main channel of Clear Creek; coastal flooding caused by high tides from tropical storms or hurricanes cannot be considered. It is possible that the reevaluation could determine that there is no longer a federal interest in participation in any project. 

While the study authorized by Congress in 1968 extended 31 miles from Clear Lake upstream to the Fort Bend County line, the project that was economically justified by the Corps in 1982 extended only 22 miles from Clear Lake upstream to Mykawa Road within Brazoria County. In 1986, when the agreement between the Corps and local sponsors was being negotiated to build the project, Brazoria Drainage District # 4, which represents Brazoria County interests, chose to defer its participation to a later date. Consequently, the current federal project that has been under construction since 1986 extends only to the Galveston Count line on Clear Creek near Dixie Farm Road.

The Harris County Flood Control District (the District) and Galveston County are pleased to report that in June 1999, Brazoria Drainage District # 4 decided to reactivate their local sponsorship of the project. Brazoria County and the City of Pearland are going to help represent the Brazoria interests as well. The general reevaluation study limits can now include the reach of Clear Creek through Brazoria County.

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