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Houston Matters

Harris County Approves Funding To Study Detention Along Buffalo Bayou

“When somebody makes a comment that ‘all of this is because of development upstream,’ we’re not going to go in and undo that development,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said.

Brien Straw | Houston Public Media
The Harris County Commissioner’s Court unanimously approved negotiating contracts to study storm water detention on the bayou.

A water detention project may soon begin along Buffalo Bayou. The Harris County Commissioner’s Court unanimously approved negotiating contracts to study storm water detention on the bayou between Highway 6 and Beltway 8.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett thinks the study should go quickly. "I think the public really expects us to move forward with flood control projects," said Emmett who believes the vote was a step in that direction.

Gail Delaughter
Cleanup continues along Buffalo Bayou following Hurricane Harvey.

He also realizes that with every project, there will be supporters and detractors. Susan Chadwick is the Executive Director of Save Buffalo Bayou. She doesn't want the proposed detention along the bayou.

"People need to take responsibility for runoff from their homes, and sidewalks, and driveways, and in the streets and clearing the drains. It's just easier for them to take our public land, our public parks and use that. It’s free." she said.

MORE: What Flooding Experts Think Of Bayou Detention Project

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The location of the project along Terry Hershey Park is on public land, so in that regard Chadwick is probably right. She blames development may accurately describe the reason for flooding, particularly in the past few years. But according to Emmett, stopping growth isn't a solution.

"When somebody makes a comment that ‘all of this is because of development upstream,’ we're not going to go in and undo that development," he said.

According to Emmett, this is simply implementing his 15-point flood prevention plan.

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