Houston: Reservoirs Crest – Mandatory Evacuations Ordered

Constructed in the early part of the 20th century, the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs were created to hold and store flood water with the objective of preventing excessive flooding into downtown Houston via Buffalo Bayou. Located just off of Interstate 10, the Addicks Reservoir is on the north side and Barker Reservoir is on the south side of the interstate.

These two reservoirs make up around 26,000 acres. Most of the time, these are dry, with recreational opportunities, Bear Creek Golf Courses, a rifle range, numerous soccer and baseball fields. Two major roads run through the reservoirs, the reservoirs are bordered by rolled earthen dam, and each has a gate system for release of water into the bayou.

With the massive rainfall caused by Hurricane Harvey, these two reservoirs at now overflowing. Addicks is over 108 feet, Barker over 104 feet. Currently, 135 billion gallons of water are being held within these two reservoirs, but they are both cresting now. The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing 4,000 cubic feet per second from each reservoir, but this isn’t enough to overcome the water still streaming in.

Residents just north of Addicks Reservoir have been told to expect 6-8 feet of water in their homes tomorrow, and to expect that water to remain for several weeks. South of I10, those near Barker Reservoir have been told to expect up to 4 feet of water in their homes, and the timeline is about the same. Many of these homes would never have been in danger of flooding under normal storm conditions.

Given this fact, Fort Bend officials have issued mandatory evacuations today for many subdivisions which today are dry. How startling is the news to these homeowners? (Houston Patch)

Edmund Russo with the Army Corps of Engineers said the reservoirs have taken in about 25 inches of water in recent days and that even with a release the reservoirs contnue to rise at a rate of four inches per hour. “This event has the potential to exceed a 1,000-year flood plain threshold,” Russo said.

In many ways, this is akin to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, You just can’t imagine it in your mind.

Be in continuous prayer, volunteer if possible, donate if you can. This is an all hands on deck situation. Which after all, always brings out the best in us.

About the author

Wm. P. Fitzhenry

5th generation Texan, 2nd generation reformed Presbyterian, a twin and a serial entrepreneur.

View all posts