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Energy & Environment

Harris County Commissioners Approve Funding For New Stormwater Basins

Much of the money will help build new ponds to hold stormwater along Houston-area bayous.



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An example of an already-completed stormwater detention basin along Willow Waterhole in southwest Harris

Harris County Commissioners have approved more than $1 million to improve flood control.

Much of the money will help build new ponds to hold stormwater along Houston-area bayous. One of them is a more than $500,000 project in the Inwood Forest area along White Oak Bayou. Another would be built along Little Cypress Creek in Northwestern Harris County, and another in Aldine near Greens Bayou is moving forward as well.

Some of those areas had homes destroyed or damaged by Harvey, and while the county flood control district's Karen Hastings says these projects were already in the works before the storm, they're still an important tool for dealing with flooding.

“We can widen and deepen bayous, but stormwater detention basins are equally important, and they're becoming more and more important,” she says.

That's because development isn't slowing down. The Little Cypress Creek basin is part of the district's broader plan to tackle flooding in the newer parts of Houston's sprawl.

“Those are areas that are fast-developing, but there's still room to build those kind of projects,” she says. “We're not trying to retrofit existing bayous.”

As these new projects take a step forward, the district says its immediate focus post-Harvey is on emergency repairs for damaged infrastructure and clearing debris from bayous and creeks.

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