This meeting will be a chance for the public to ask questions about flooding issues in our area. Although you’re sure to have your own questions, here’s a list compiled from previous meetings and emails that will give you a start.
W140 – Briar Branch Creek
The drainpipe carrying water flowing south under Witte Road, on its way to W151 south of I-10, is conjoined with W140 (Briar Branch Creek) going to the east. When W151 is overburdened, it first backs up at I-10, then begins to overflow into W140. As more water flows down W151, detention under the I-10 feeder roads overflows, causing the feeder road to flood and water to flow out of W151 into W140. Pipes that normally drain the neighborhoods north of Briar Branch Creek begin back-flowing water out of W140, causing the neighborhoods to flood. New TIRZ projects on Gessner and Witte will move more water to W140. There is also a possibility that the W151 will be severed from W140 just south of their conjoining. TIRZ engineers have said that their proposed improvements will provide minimal help for the neighborhood adjacent to the new detention pond.
1) Can the W140 channel be widened and deepened?
2) Can the opening under the bridge at Bunker Hill Road be increased so that water can be conveyed from the neighborhood to the new detention pond?
3) Can the TIRZ look for other possible detention locations along Witte that can be used for detention, either under structures like parking lots (e.g., SBISD bus barn) or open ponds?
4) Can the TIRZ ensure that water from the conjoined W151 and W140 can get to the new detention pond east of Bunker Hill Road?
5) If the TIRZ cannot implement the improvements identified in the Regional Drainage Study to help remove water from the neighborhood, can the City do it?
6) Can the TIRZ use the RDS to rank order the CIP projects necessary to improve the drainage in neighborhoods adjacent to W140?
7) Can check valves be installed to prevent water back-flowing through existing drain pipes into neighborhoods?
8 ) Can new pipes be installed under Pine Lake or other cross streets to bypass the Bunker Hill Bridge and move neighborhood water further downstream?
9) Can we determine why the neighborhood adjacent to the new detention pond may not benefit from it? Are there alternatives that do help?
10) Why didn’t Fidelis, at Bunker Hill and I-10, need to have detention on their property?
11) Why did the COH allow Fidelis to raise their property and where did they expect the water to go?
12) Why was The Room Store at Witte and I-10 allowed to raise their property and why isn’t there any detention there?
13) Does water flow into the drain at Gessner and W140 or flow out?
14) In a heavy rain, can any water in open ditch W140 flow into closed pipe W151 under Witte Road or will water only flow out of W151? How can you tell?
15) There has been some discussion of severing W151 south of W140. This is a 7’ by 7’ box culvert. Can W140 handle the extra water? Where will it go?
16) Has HCFCD agreed to improve W140? If so, will it be concrete lined or enclosed? Will they need extra right of way?
17) Can underground detention be installed at Hayden Park, Crosspoint Church detention pond, under SBISD bus barn parking lot or other properties along Witte?
18) Why is the TIRZ paying for a landscape architect for a detention pond neither visible nor accessible to the public?
19) The provisions of sale for the land used for the detention pond require specific maintenance, no concrete, no straight lines and landscaping. Who in the COH reviewed this contract? Will HCFCD be able to take over maintenance?
W151 – Stoney Creek
General problem –
When W151 south of I-10 and north of Memorial begins to fill with water, the level quickly exceeds the elevation of pipes designed to drain into W151 and water begins to backflow into neighborhoods. W151 gets water from as far north as Neuens Road and TxDot water from Bunker Hill Road on the east to Frostwood/Conrad-Sauer on the West. The 60 acre-feet Conrad-Sauer detention pond is also pumped into the TxDOT I-10 system that drains into W151. The system cannot carry this amount of water.
1) Instead of sending TxDOT I-10 water through pipes under Memorial City Shopping Center, can water be redirected into existing detention ponds (Conrad Sauer “Golden Bathtub”) or can new ponds be built by purchasing vacant land near W156 and the I-10 feeder road?
2) Can the timing of the pumping system for the Conrad-Sauer detention pond be modified to pump water out during a storm only when the water level becomes excessive, fully emptying only after the rain has stopped, in order to minimize street flooding along the I-10 feeder road?
3) Can water from the Conrad Sauer detention pond be redirected to W156 rather than W151?
4) TxDOT has not built three of the detention ponds that were promised in the settlement with the Katy Corridor Coalition to mitigate flooding due to I-10 widening. Can the City and TIRZ ask TxDOT to fix flooding along the I-10 feeder roads west of Bunker Hill Road?
5) Moving water from Frostwood to Kingsride to Barryknoll, bypasses the W151 bottleneck under Memorial City, but increases the amount of water in W151 south of Barryknoll. To avoid increasing downstream water, can local detention can be added under all of these roads during construction?
6) Rather than assume water from Frostwood and Kingsride will be moved down Barryknoll to W151, can TIRZ 17 find alternative paths to Buffalo Bayou (Tallowood, Gessner, Plantation, etc.)?
7) Can a detention pond be added in front of the Great Indoors or Sam’s Club parking lots?
8 ) Why can’t detention be added in Susan Kellner Park and Bunker Hill Elementary’s playground at the northern end of W151?
9) What can’t detention be added underground in the Memorial City Shopping Center parking lot?
10) To provide additional detention, can W151 be reconstructed with large underground box culverts on either side of the main channel?
11) While Gessner is being reconstructed to raise the roadway six inches north of I-10, can culverts be installed under the lanes? Installing 10’by 10’ box culverts under each of the six lanes creates a total detention of between 25/30 acre-feet.
12) Can culvert sizes be maximized for in-line detention on all TIRZ projects?
13) Can we increase the depth and width of the drainage channel north of Memorial Drive, while keeping the flow restricted by the size of the bridge opening at Memorial Drive? Will the bridge over Stoney Creek have the same cross-sectional area?
14) When Witte Road is rebuilt, will the 15 acre-foot Crosspoint detention pond be rendered useless? If so, will it need to be rebuilt? Who would pay to rebuild it? If it is not rebuilt, then the water would need to be redirected to the new detention pond, reducing its capacity.
15) Whenever new buildings are added, can the TIRZ offer to install underground detention under the parking garage or parking lot? Memorial City needs more parking. When the next parking garage is installed, can COH or TIRZ convince the builder to allow detention to be installed underneath? What about detention under the new Metro National building at the NW corner of I-10 and Gessner?
16) HCFCD requires that any new water being added to Buffalo Bayou be mitigated one for one. Does the TIRZ know how much upstream detention will be required for all the projects that it intends to build? When will HCFCD have upstream detention set aside for TIRZ water? Will the COH or TIRZ have to pay for this detention?
17) Knowing all the concerns about flooding within the TIRZ, why has the COH not tried to find ways to force developers to add detention on their property? There have been numerous opportunities along Gaylord that are now gone. Are they unsympathetic to flooding? Won’t flooding hurt property values?
18) How many acre-feet of in-line detention are being added for the new TIRZ projects?
19) Was the RDS used to model drainage down W151 or other channels other than Strey Lane? If not, why did the TIRZ assume Strey Lane as the only option?
20) Can the RDS be updated to account for additional water on Gaylord and other changes within the TIRZ?
21) Drainage from tall buildings builds up a lot of velocity and force so takes precedence over overland sheetflow. Was this considered when designing the drainage systems for the new high rises near Gaylord? Can this be modeled in the RDS?
22) Why were flow patterns within TIRZ 17 not mapped, but flow patterns outside TIRZ boundaries were? Isn’t it important to know how the water flows inside the TIRZ, if for no other reason than to accurately be able to model flows outside the TIRZ?
W153 – Hollow Creek
General problem –
When the Fonn Villas project was constructed, water from as far north as I-10 was redirected into W153 instead of an existing line along Beltway 8. The size of drains and open channels flowing into the creek exceeds the size of pipes under Memorial Drive creating a choke that restricts water from flowing out, so Hollow Creek becomes a classic detention pond. Currently a COH project is being constructed under Tallowood to move water within the W153 watershed, solving nothing. In their Charting the Buffalo study, HCFCD identified several possible detention sites, including 12505 Memorial Drive.
1) Did the COH use the RDS to analyze flow in the W153 while designing the Tallowood project? Since it would have saved $900k, why not? Who authorized and designed this project?
2) Rather than building a pipe to the Bayou, which will require upstream detention, something that may take many years to achieve, why not build a detention pond at 12505 Memorial that can hold between 50 and 60 acre-feet? If underground detention is installed, the land could be dual use.
3) The TIRZ Regional Drainage Study shows an 8’ by 8’ box culvert under Tallowood, which LAN modeled as connecting to Buffalo Bayou through an undefined path. Although this is outside the TIRZ zone, so was Strey Lane, which the TIRZ tried to partner in. Could the TIRZ, the COH and HCFCD collaborate to install the large pipe under Tallowood from at least the W153 bridge southward?
4) Can the COH and TIRZ not construct any more projects that drain into W153 north of Memorial?
5) Can the TIRZ use the computer models that were developed for the TIRZ Regional Drainage Study to identify the most effective drainage solutions, then prioritize TIRZ/COH/HCFCD construction plans to implement those first (applies to W140, W151 and W153)?
W156 – Rummel Creek
1) Given that City Centre and about half of the TIRZ area north of I-10 drain into W156, should it now be added to the RDS?
General flooding solutions for all watersheds
1) End the practice of “Grandfathering” properties. In a semitropical city, anything that increases the floodplain should not be tolerated.
2) Enforce existing drainage ordinances.
3) Do not allow unwarranted variances that would decrease drainage or detention.
4) Scrutinize drainage reports better to prevent “cheating” on required detention.
5) Do not allow properties to be “raised” by adding fill dirt without properly mitigating for the displaced flow.
6) Prior to construction of any drainage project (e.g., Fonn Villas), study the receiving basin to determine that it can accept additional water without flooding concerns.
7) Begin migration of all future projects to two dimensional flow analysis models so that unintended consequences (e.g., flow reversals) are reduced.
8 ) Address all drainage projects on a “Global” level so that unintended consequences are reduced; that is, address impacts on adjacent properties too.
9) Rather than designing in a vacuum, use the Super Neighborhood (SN) program as former Mayor Brown had intended and funnel information from the people who know the flooding patterns best to the engineers trying to solve the problem.
10) Keep the SN’s involved through regular meetings with residents of the affected area.
11) Allow SN’s or their designated representative(s) access to preliminary engineering documents prior to release for bidding so that workable solutions can be worked out prior to homes being flooded.