The next flood that hits League City will damage homes again, so engineers are planning ways to minimize the harm and looking for money to do it.
League City has a $9.62 billion wish list of flood mitigation projects the city staff compiled for state and federal officials.
But the item on top of the list is the proposed coastal spine storm-surge barrier, which accounts for $9 billion.
The remaining $120.45 million is for drainage projects in League City, including ditches, streams and retention ponds.
City staff members sent the list of prioritized projects for flood mitigation to Rebuild Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott’s task force, which is overseeing Hurricane Harvey recovery.
“We’ve gone through a pretty horrific rain event,” City Manager John Baumgartner said.
Hurricane Harvey challenged League City’s drainage system from neighborhoods to ditches to the Clear Creek and the Dickinson Bayou watersheds that flow into Galveston Bay.
Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 in Rockport, about 200 miles south of League City, but in the 72 or so hours that followed, it dumped more than 50 inches of rain in some parts of the area, swelling creeks and bayous and flooding 7,700 homes in the community.
Those 7,700 flooded homes represent about 23 percent of the city’s residences, Assistant City Manager Bo Bass said. Of the 7,700 homes, 1,450 had major damage with at least 18 inches of water inside, Bass said.
The money to make items on the wish list a reality could come from several sources, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In addition to state and federal offices, League City also is waiting on the Nov. 7 result of the Galveston County bond election, Baumgartner said.
The proposed $82 million bond issue includes $6 million for drainage projects. Those projects include a proposed regional detention pond in Dickinson Bayou, something of particular interest to Baumgartner and to League City.
Subdivisions not built on the shores of Clear Creek still flooded during Harvey. Many of those neighborhoods, such as Bayridge and Oaks of Clear Creek, drain into Dickinson Bayou. Bayridge drains into Gum Bayou, which drains into Dickinson Bayou, while Oaks of Clear Creek drains into Bradshaw Road Ditch and Benson Ditch, then Benson Bayou and then drains into Dickinson Bayou.
The city also has drainage projects and studies listed in its capital improvement program.
The city has allocated $300,000 in that program to look at drainage problems and figure out solutions, Baumgartner said.
And the city is also asking the Texas Department of Transportation to look at the designs of bridges spanning Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou to see whether engineers can consider ways to allow floodwater to flow.