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Debris Cleanup At Lake Houston Will Continue For Months

The project could cost up to $20 million

Now almost a year out from Hurricane Harvey, debris cleanup at Lake Houston is still ongoing, and crews may be on the water for months to come in a project expected to cost anywhere between $8 million and $20 million. 

Workers on barges grab debris out of Lake Houston on July 6, 2018.

Officials say crews are pulling between 1,000 and 2,000 cubic yards of debris — including trees, logs, and trash, like furniture — out of the lake each day. 

City officials invited media to tour the cleanup out on the water Friday. While observing, one boat became stuck, hitting a sandbar. 

“It used to be 10 foot, according to this chart,” the driver of that boat said,”it’s now five feet.”

After a bit of maneuvering, the boat made it back to shore.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, along with city council members Dave Martin and David Robinson, and State Rep. Dan Huberty visited Lake Houston to observe cleanup efforts. The group said restoring capacity to Lake Houston is a top priority to avoid flooding from future storms in the Kingwood area and along the San Jacinto River. 

“We all have to move with the greatest degree of urgency. As if it’s going to happen tomorrow,” Turner said.

Turner said it would be another 3 to 5 months before workers finish debris cleanup. After that, crews will begin dredging sand from the bottom of Lake Houston.

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Davis Land

Davis Land

General Assignments Reporter

Davis Land is a general assignment reporter for Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media/Transom.org in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a...

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