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Long Term Flood Recovery

Planning Study Background

The City of Jersey Village is located in the upper portion of the White Oak Bayou watershed, and the bayou flows from the headwaters near U.S. Highway 290 west of Huffmeister Road southeast to its confluence with Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston.

Major flooding occurred along White Oak Bayou in the City of Jersey Village in 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2016.

In the last 20 years, the Flood Control District has implemented more than $95 million worth of improvements to address channel flooding in the White Oak Bayou watershed, including completion of the Jersey Village diversion channel in 2010, as well as completion of multiple stormwater detention basins upstream of Jersey Village. In the last decade, the City completed over $25 million of street and drainage reconstruction efforts, with the primary goal of reducing localized neighborhood flooding.

Despite these significant efforts on behalf of the City and the Flood Control District, more than 230 structures within Jersey Village experienced flooding during the most recent “Tax Day” flooding event on April 18, 2016. The City responded to this severe flooding event by initiating the Jersey Village Long-term Flood Recovery Planning Study.

About the Flood Recovery Planning Study

The Jersey Village Long-term Flood Recovery Plan is an accelerated flood damage reduction study led by Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation with Crouch Environmental Services, Inc. and Kuo and Associates to address repetitive flooding in the City and the surrounding area. In September 2016, the City contracted Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation to rapidly deliver the Jersey Village Long-term Flood Recovery Plan by Summer 2017.

The goal of the Jersey Village Long-term Flood Recovery Planning Study is to develop a flood damage reduction plan that balances social acceptability with economic, hydraulic, and environmental feasibility. The plan will identify both short-term and long-term flood damage reduction projects that can be designed and implemented as funding allows.

 

The Plan

The Long Term Flood Recovery Plan has been received and accepted by the City Council. The four main projects that are recommended are:

You can read the final version of the Long Term Flood Recovery Plan by clicking here. (PDF Version, approx 44mb in size)

Report Appendices

Please note, some appendices for the City of Jersey Village Long-term Flood Recovery Plan Report have been redacted due to the confidential and sensitive nature of some data.


Golf Course Berm

Background
In the study the results from the HEC-HMS models showed that every storm frequency except for the 500-year event was contained within the Golf Course by the berm. Based upon the modeling in the study the total reduction in damages for the 100-year storm was $757,580 for a single event. Additionally, constructing a berm around the Golf Course for detention purposes prevented sheet flow from reaching Wall Street and the surrounding neighborhood, thereby reducing localized flooding.

Project Information
The City is currently having survey work done on the golf course. This is necessary so we the proper design of the berm can be completed.  We anticipate being able to select the engineer for the design of the berm in Spring 2018. Construction is currently estimated to occur in the fall/winter of 2018/2019.


Drainage and street improvements in the Wall Street Neighborhood

Background
As part of the study, the capacity of the storm sewer system in the Wall Street neighborhood was determined by analyzing the smaller storms and comparing the hydraulic grade line (HGL) to the gutter elevations of the streets. After the existing system capacity was determined, the study team developed proposed models that increased the number of inlets and the storm sewer pipe sizes and reduced the HGL to acceptable levels for the smaller storms. The study team performed a mitigation analysis that utilized the proposed storage in the Jersey Meadow Golf Course to ensure no adverse impacts to E127-00-00. The street study also included a phasing plan for construction of the improved storm sewer system. The full analysis and report for the Wall Street System Drainage Improvements is in Appendix 7J.

Project Information
 The City will be doing the design work for the drainage and street improvements in the wall Street Neighborhood during the Spring/Summer of 2018. Construction could begin in the fall/winter of 2018.


Home Elevation and/or buyout grants

Background
FEMA offers financial assistance to local sponsors for property acquisition and structure demolition (also called a buyout) to create open space in frequently flooded areas. The purpose of the program is to alleviate flood-prone property owners from frequent flooding by purchasing the property and either demolishing or relocating the structure. Although relocating the structure to another site is an option, simply acquiring the land and demolishing the existing structure requires minimal environmental review and is considerably less expensive. Additionally, for a structure to be eligible for a buyout, the property cannot be part of any future planned development project and the owner must be selling the property voluntarily. Any incompatible easements must be extinguished before acquisition.

If FEMA funds are used for demolition or relocation projects, the law requires the property to be maintained as open space by the local sponsor submitting the application. Once the structure is demolished or relocated, the property must be dedicated to uses compatible with open space, recreation or wetlands management practices. No new structures may be built on the property with the exception of a few: public buildings open on all sides, public restrooms or structures compatible with open space, recreation or wetlands management use and applicable floodplain management policies and practices. All of these structures must be elevated or flood proofed to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus one foot of freeboard.

Structure elevation is another FEMA program provided through the HMA program. The purpose of the structure elevation program is to raise an existing structure to an elevation that is equivalent or higher than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). All structures being elevated must be structurally sound and able to be elevated safely. FEMA requires that structure elevation projects be designed in accordance with NFIP standards in 44 CFR Part 60 and with ASCE 24-14. Distribution of funds for approved projects falls under the same cost share process as the buyout program.

The home elevation program application must include the scope of work, the schedule of the project, and a cost estimate for construction. The scope of work requires specific data such as the physical address and property owner’s name, the name and location of the flooding source, the existing and proposed finished floor elevation, the BFE, the existing foundation type, the proposed elevation method, and a statement that the project will be designed according to NFIP standards in 44 CFR Part 60. FEMA has completed a Sample Engineering Case Study for Elevation to demonstrate all the information typically required in a structure elevation application.

Project Information
On September 11, 2017 the City Council held a special meeting to discuss elevations and buyouts. You can find the presentation from that meeting here. 

The City Council authorized an application to seek funding to elevate 17 homes in Jersey Village. As this is a very competitive grant program funded by FEMA the City must phase the applications. This will be a multiyear projects where the city will seek funding for home elevations year after year.
 
The City submitted their application in September 2017. Funding award notices are not anticipated until February 2018.


Widening and deepening the bayou

The White Oak Bayou is controlled by the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD). The city is in communication with them about deepening and widening the bayou. This is a project that is currently on their list. However, they must complete work downstream of us before they can do the work on the portion of the bayou that runs through Jersey Village.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Act) passed February 9th did contain substantial appropriation amounts and provisions that favor Texas, Harris County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/HCFCD partnered White Oak Bayou flood risk reduction project. The City and Harris County Flood Control District are very grateful for what our Texas delegation accomplished.

Here is a breakdown of the $17.39 billion in funding approved for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

  • $15.055 billion for repairs to ongoing construction projects, and to expedite construction projects that will help mitigate future disaster damage
    • The completion of ongoing projects, such as Project Brays, would be at full Federal expense.
    • $10.425 billion of the construction funding will be used to expedite construction of projects for flood and storm damage reduction in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria. All authorized projects in Harris County, such as White Oak Bayou, are eligible for this funding.
    • $4.63 billion of the construction funding will be used for projects in states that have had more than one flood-related major disaster since 2014. Harris County would also be eligible for this funding.
    • Construction funds could be used for projects that are studied as a result of the investigations the bill allows for. This will allow us to undertake studies for potential new projects such the 3rd reservoir, and have the funding available to begin construction.

The fate of the White Oak Bayou project is now in the hands of the Executive Branch, namely the Corps, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works [ASA(CW)], and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Corps and the ASA(CW) will be preparing implementation guidance for the provisions in the Act in accordance with current laws and hopefully the intent of Congress. All three of the Executive Branch entities will select projects and studies to fund. According to HCFCD White Oak Bayou has a good chance of being selected and funded under the “completion of ongoing construction projects” special category.

Over the next few months, the City of Jersey Village and Harris County Flood Control District will be closely monitoring the progress of the implementation guidance and selection process.

 






Previous updates on the study are as follows:


FOR APRIL 18, 2016 FLOOD EVENT AND
MITIGATION COMMUNICATION INFORMATION - CLICK HERE

EMERGENCY NOTICES - FLOOD - APRIL 18, 2016 - CLICK HERE

The website dedicated to the Long-Term Flood Recovery Project is www.JVFloodRecovery.com


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