Community near Cypress Creek watershed receives update on flood reduction projects
After attending the community engagement meeting at the Memorial Hills Community Improvement Association, Janet Sorensen left disappointed with the information presented. She said she expected more information about flood prevention on Cypress Creek after her home flooded with more than nine inches of water during Hurricane Harvey.
She said she wanted to hear a plan for the local watershed, not the promise of a plan.
“All this stuff is great, I’m glad it’s getting done, but the real problem is Cypress Creek,” she said. “I just want to know if this flood came next year, what happens with Cypress Creek? Are we going to flood again? Are we going to have to go through this again?.”
The community surrounding the Cypress Creek watershed gathered at the Memorial Hills Community Improvement Association to receive information on future flood mitigation projects and provide advice for the county professionals forming the plans. Many attendees voiced disdain for the meeting throughout.
On Feb. 12, the Harris County Engineering Department, alongside Harris County Flood Control District, presented its findings and plans for the Memorial Hills project in the Cypress Creek watershed during a community engagement meeting.
Improvements to flood prevention in the subdivision include improving internal drainage systems by installing wider underground storm sewer systems, stormwater detention basins and roadside ditches. All projects are currently in the planning and study phase, according to officials attending the event.
“Currently within (Memorial Hills), there is a capital improvement project that’s taking place to do some erosion repair to the south all the way back to Cypress Creek,” Marcus Stuckett, director of engineering with HCED, said. “As part of the bond project, we have a major desilt within the Cypress Creek watershed.”
Lonnie Anderson gave a presentation on the project details, including the intent to reduce flooding by up to a foot. The Memorial Hills project will reduce the flooding from a storm with a one percent chance of occurring, similar to Hurricane Harvey but will not prevent flooding from Cypress Creek.
Brennan Cook, project delivery manager for HCED, said it is important for the meetings to take place because HCFCD needs to receive input only community members who live in the area can provide.
“We’re very early on in the stages of study for your subdivision so we’re asking for your input, what you experienced, so we make sure we get it right before we move further,” he said. “We are paired with the (Harris County) Flood Control District to bring you these projects.”
Local residents provided feedback to the officials, including how disappointed they were in the open format of the meeting and how they expected more information on stopping flooding from Cypress Creek.
ommunity member Maxine Gloyd said she attended the meeting to learn more about potential projects. She said the meeting was initially confusing, but ultimately left with her questions answered.
“When we get to hear other people’s questions, it generates other questions,” she said. “I’m a little disappointed with that, but I’m willing to try.”
The flood control district will conduct more community engagement meetings throughout the year together more data and present their findings to local areas. The next meeting addressing the northwest Houston area will take place on Feb. 26 at Cypress Exhibit Center, 11206 Telge Road, Cypress. The meeting will be for the Roland Road project and related infrastructure in the Addicks Reservoir watershed, according to the flood control district website.