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Harris County’s flood bond projects could help Woodlands residents

August 29, 2018

Though Montgomery County residents couldn’t vote in last Saturday’s $2.5 billion flood bond infrastructure project election touted by the Harris County Flood Control District, they might be able to benefit from its passage.

The flood bond includes more than $90 million for proposed projects for the Spring Creek watershed, which encompasses The Woodlands in addition to the northernmost part of Harris County, where most of the projects are located.

Matt Zeve, flood control district operations director, said he believes residents realize that the projects that protect Harris County residents will protect Montgomery County residents as well.

One such project would be right-of-way land acquisition along Spring Creek to preserve channel conveyance or restore natural floodplain areas. The creek serves as the border between Harris and Montgomery counties.

“There’s a good chance that some land we might purchase would be in Montgomery County. There’s a possibility we could complete that preservation in both counties,” Zeve said.

Another significant project would be the construction of a reservoir along Spring Creek, which would could be built in Montgomery County. The project is dependent on the findings of various studies, however.

“If it’s determined that a flood damage reduction reservoir or detention basin is feasible and viable for the Spring Creek area, then obviously residents of both counties would receive benefits of that type of infrastructure,” Zeve said.

Jim Stinson, general manager of The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency, which oversees wastewater and stormwater collection and management for the 10 municipal utility districts in The Woodlands, made note of the reservoir project in particular.

“Conceptually, this reservoir — one or a series of stormwater detention reservoirs — upstream from Creekside Park and Grogan’s Mill in The Woodlands would be a structure to hold back stormwater and provide relief in a major storm event,” Stinson said.

The Village of Creekside Park residents, however, have a more direct link to the flood bond. They are the only village in The Woodlands that is also part of Harris County, meaning residents were able to vote in the election.

Stinson added that he thinks Montgomery County residents see the passage of the flood bond as a positive project.

Bruce Rieser, who chairs The Woodlands Township’s Drainage Task Force, said he agreed.

“Anything they do on the upper end of Spring Creek will benefit all of us along Spring Creek. You can’t fix just one side of the creek. Anything we can do to slow down the amount of water coming down from the north and the west, the better off we’ll be here in The Woodlands,” Rieser said.

While Rieser said he was hopeful that the project provides some way forward for this area, he made it clear that Harris County shouldn’t be the only entity coming to the table with money.

“I think that would be an inducement for Montgomery County to sit down and have some serious talks about flooding. The only way some of these issues can be tackled is on a wider scale. It needs to be a comprehensive effort,” Rieser said.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com

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