Two residents pleaded for better drainage at Tuesday’s League City council meeting, and more who are concerned with drainage are signing petitions and posting comments and photos on social media.
City Manager John Baumgartner acknowledged Tuesday that the city’s drainage system has deficiencies that became obvious during Hurricane Harvey, and encouraged residents to tell him and city staff about particular problems.
Teresa Waite’s home on Aberdeen Drive in the Brittany Bay subdivision flooded during Harvey, and she said she feared it would flood again Friday morning when a couple of inches of rain flooded the streets. She brought pictures to show council members.
“All I know is I’m afraid, I’m terrified, my son is, and the whole neighborhood is,” Waite said. “Something needs to be done. I’m just begging. Please.”
Andrew Aycoth, who has lived on Deer Ridge Drive in the Oaks of Clear Creek subdivision since 1993, also addressed the council.
“We have experienced four floods and several near misses while I have lived there, even though we are not in a floodplain,” Aycoth said. “Just this last Friday morning, we received just 2 inches of rain causing flooding on Deer Ridge over the sidewalks. I would say this is not normal for a properly functioning drainage system.”
Aycoth told The Daily News Wednesday he is collecting neighbors’ signatures on a petition asking the city to fix drainage issues in Oaks of Clear Creek.
Of the 411 homes in the subdivision, 150 of them flooded during Hurricane Harvey, Aycoth said.
“Most of these 150 homes may have never flooded before but have had several near misses over the years which have caused people to sell their homes and move away,” Aycoth said.
He’s kept a tally of reoccurring flooding over the years. Tropical Storm Frances dumped 7 inches of rain causing four homes to flood on Deer Ridge Drive in 1998. Tropical Storm Allison dumped 19 inches of rain in a 36-hour period causing 24 homes to flood in 2011. Heavy rains dumped 12 inches of rain in a 24-hour period causing 17 homes to flood in 2017.
Part of the neighborhood’s flooding problem is related to a ditch in front of the subdivision that runs parallel to state Highway 3.
“During Harvey, the water level rose 2 feet over the bank of the ditch and immediately caused flooding,” Aycoth said.
Aycoth offered a solution to the League City council Tuesday. The city should consider building a berm 2.5 feet high for a length of 400 feet to create a barrier between the ditch and the neighborhood.
Aycoth also wants the city to proceed with a capital improvement project to widen and deepen the Bradshaw Road ditch and to line it with concrete. The ditch that is parallel to Highway 3 drains into the Bradshaw Road ditch.
He also wants the city to proceed with the capital improvement project for Interurban Ditch from north of FM 518 to Clear Creek. Part of the neighborhood also drains into this ditch.
“This also was identified many years ago as a necessary project,” Aycoth said. “It does not take a 500-year rain event to cause flooding in our subdivision as with the examples I’ve mentioned,” Aycoth said.
City officials set aside $300,000 in the capital improvement program just for engineering studies of potential drainage problems, Baumgartner said. The program is part of the 2018 budget that the council passed in September.
One drainage analysis is already in the works for the Bayridge subdivision. Houston-based LJA Engineering Inc. will do a studied evaluation of how stormwater in Bayridge drains, Baumgartner said.
Aycoth also asked the city to perform an internal inspection of the storm drainage system in his subdivision to identify its deficiencies. Baumgartner told The Daily News that is already happening. City crews will look at the system, and then an outside consultant could also evaluate the drainage in Oaks of Clear Creek.
The city will continue to evaluate drainage in neighborhoods as concerns come forward, Baumgartner said. In some areas, it’s more clear why homes flooded, he said.
Solving the drainage problem is a large issue, Baumgartner said.
“It’s complex and it’s intertwined,” he said.
City staff has compiled a list of potential flood mitigation projects for state and federal consideration, he said. Also, he has talked to the Texas Department of Transportation about how the design of bridges over Clear Creek blocked water from flowing, he said. And Galveston County’s $80 million bond proposal includes water retention projects to help the Dickinson Bayou watershed, Baumgartner said.
Residents don’t have to wait for a council meeting to let the city know about drainage problems, Baumgartner said.
“You can always call me or email me,” Baumgartner said.
Storm-sewer system debris could have caused the flooded streets in Brittany Bay on Friday, Baumgartner said. City crews were determining the problem Wednesday.
“We can’t be on every street,” Baumgartner said. “We can’t be in every neighborhood. So, as you see those things and take those pictures, send them to us and we’ll get the right staff with you.”