A drainage project along Gum Bayou that one county commissioner said likely could have reduced flooding for many in Dickinson during Hurricane Harvey is a step closer to starting.
For three years, the county’s engineering department has been attempting to secure land along Gum Bayou south of FM 646 and south of 20th Street in an unincorporated area near Dickinson, county engineer Michael Shannon said. The project will widen the bayou by sloping its banks in an area affecting about 9,800 people, Shannon said.
County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to seek bids on the Gum Bayou channel improvements. The vote also authorized the acquisition of three parcels of land needed for the project, Shannon said. Another two parcels also are needed for the project.
“One of the things that has been out there is that we’ve had this big storm and nothing has been done,” Commissioner Ken Clark said. “On this particular project, we started three or four years ago. If the project would have been completed before Harvey, we would have had damages reduced for some in the Dickinson area.”
The effort is among Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery projects approved after Hurricane Ike, according to county documents. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated about $3.2 million toward the project, which was administered through the state’s general land office, according to documents.
The aim is to widen the banks along part of Gum Bayou, a tributary of Dickinson Bayou, to push more water through more quickly during heavy rains to prevent flooding, Shannon said. The money allocated for the land acquisition and construction is budgeted to be spent this fiscal year, making Sept. 30 the hard deadline, he said.