By Nicole Jones
The City of Friendswood has opened a public comment period to hear citizen input on infrastructure projects for possible submission for federal grant funding.
Under consideration for application for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery is the city’s Deepwood Flood Control Project, which would bury critical infrastructure.
Lines crossing Clear Creek on an overhead pipe rack are subject to hydraulic pressure and impact risk during high water events such as Harvey, city documents state. A complete washout of the rack base could cause the structure to collapse — resulting in loss of service and environmental damage. The removal of the rack will also help to eliminate flood risk as a debris snag on the pipe rack could act as a dam within the Creek, and burying the lines underneath the Creek would mitigates this risk.
Torrential rainfall during and after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 flooded 2,800 homes in addition to city infrastructure, and the pipe rack over Clear Creek was struck by floating debris while the ground under structural supports was eroded. In addition to the erosion, a bulkhead originally meant to protect the structure has functionally failed and is no longer a viable means of protection, according to the city. The structure is still functioning with city lines in service. But more erosion is expected with future storms — and a risk of collapse exists.
The Deepwood flood control project is tied to the city’s acquisition program, through which 13 structures near the site would be purchased and then demolished using CDBG-DR housing allocation funding.
These two projects are two separate applications, but city officials say they complement each other, with each reducing flood risk within the city.
The Deepwood Flood Control Project would provide additional capacity within the creek, reducing the overall risk of flooding within the watershed and decreasing the flood risk to neighboring structures.
The public comment period on these projects will close at 5 p.m. on Jan. 21. Comments to the city can be made in writing to: 910 S. Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, TX 77546 (Attn: Friendswood Office of Emergency Management) or via email at [email protected].
After the comment period has ended, Friendswood City Council will consider taking action at its Feb. 3 regular meeting.
For more information, contact the Friendswood Office of Emergency Management, 281-996-3335.