The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) marked an important milestone two days ago, joining its federal partner – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District – in signing key agreements for major flood damage reduction projects in the White Oak and Hunting Bayou watersheds.
The Project Partnership Agreements (PPAs), under Section 211(f) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (WRDA), allows HCFCD to qualify for federal reimbursements for eligible work already completed to reduce flooding risks and damages along White Oak and Hunting bayous and to apply for reimbursements for future completed eligible design and construction work.
Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander, signed necessary documents for the agreements at the USACE Galveston District headquarters with HCFCD representatives present. Under Section 211(f), HCFCD took the lead in planning, designing, constructing and funding federal flood damage reduction projects and is eligible for federal reimbursement when the projects are complete.
The White Oak Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project includes 15.4 miles of earthen channel modifications from Cole Creek upstream to F.M. 1960, four detention basins providing approximately 2,940 acre-feet of storage and recreation features along the channel and within the detention basins. The total estimated cost of the project – many elements of which have already been constructed – is approximately $124 million, of which approximately $70 million would be eligible for federal reimbursement.
When this project is complete, HCFCD estimates that most areas along White Oak Bayou within the project area will see water surface elevation reductions of 0.5 to 1.5 feet for the 1 percent (100-year) flooding event. The number of homes and businesses subject to the 1 percent (100-year) event would drop from 6,100 to 4,600.