Houston City Council Member, Dave Martin, said in its latest announcement that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to remove sand and siltation from the Lake Houston mouth bar.
In October 2018, the USACE began removing debris from the San Jacinto River that was deposited during Hurricane Harvey. This project was designated as a FEMA Mission Assignment (DR 4332) and directed the USACE to restore the river to pre-Harvey conditions.
DR 4332 has removed debris from three out of four identified sections of the San Jacinto River, and this project is due to be completed in May. The mouth bar, which was identified as the fourth section, was not included in the scope of work for DR 4332.
Last month, the application for the additional dredge material disposal site, as well as mouth bar removal, were submitted by the City of Houston, for review by the USACE and FEMA.
The State of Texas, the City of Houston, as well as multiple stakeholders from the Lake Houston area, requested expedited consideration for FEMA to authorize a Mission Assignment for the debris removal and dredging of the mouth bar while the equipment is still in the river.
At a meeting last week in Austin, FEMA issued a directive of Mission Assignment to the USACE for dredging of the mouth bar at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston. FEMA has been working with TDEM, the City of Houston, and USACE to determine the amount of silt deposited at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston attributable to Hurricane Harvey.
The calculation is expected to be finalized this week, and dredging is expected to begin within thirty days.