Comment of the Day: The Great Idylwood Shoreline FEMA Buyout

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE GREAT IDYLWOOD SHORELINE FEMA BUYOUT “The ten houses in Idylwood, 6 along N. Macgregor, 2 on Wildwood and 2 on Park Ln were all heavily damaged by Hurricane Ike. Most all those houses have been hit numerous times, not the least of which was Allison. Those homes were right on Brays Bayou. Come on folks, some of the homeowners hated to sell to FEMA but it was either that or jump through impossible hoops to raise the homes’ foundations. True, there’s been a lot of improvement to the bayou but who knows if those improvements will be effective when the next flood hits? Not everyone chose to take the buyout.” [PYEWACKET2, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Idylwood Hat Trick]

7 Comment

  • I can tell you this, if your home is right on the bayou are 1 to 2 block away, the improvements won’t do to much to your home. These improvements won’t do much to the real big storms because the are just that: REAL BIG.

    The minor storms that cause the bayou to rise quickly are the ones they want to handle.

  • In this case the buyouts will affect the ambiance since the lots cannot be built on again as I understand it so I assume you will have a patchwork of homes and vacant land along MacGregor?

    Idlywood isn’t the only subdivision/area facing this problem. So far it hasn’t claimed any of the homes in Emerald Forest along Glen Arbor and North Braeswood. But eventually will if there is another Allison. Some of the homes had 6 feet of water as I recall.

    Maybe it would be better if there was a program to basically condemn entire sections that will continue to flood. Better to have greenbelts/parks than patchworks.

    They say they have corrected the problem along Brays Bayou which traditionally has flooded east of Stella Link as well as Meyerland. Time will tell.

  • There is a lot of work remaining by those
    budgetary geniuses at Harris County on the Project Braes project – much bridge work, for example. It looks as though they…just quit…doing anything substantive on the Willow Waterhole project at all!

    …but they’re JUST NOW considering cutting the overtime boondoggle at the HC jail.

    Guess overtime paychecks trump SERIOUS FLOOD CONTROL.

  • Udunno,

    Harris County has nothing to do with flood control and the money spent on it. The Harris County Flood Control District is independent of Harris County. They each have their own taxing authority. So money can’t be taken away from HCFCD to pay for HC stuff and vice versa.

    HCFCD was formed by state charter as an independent district with the ability to access property taxes for their stated mission. The board members of the district happen to be the Commissioners Court, but the money doesn’t co-mingle.

    Project Brays and other large scale projects are built as HCFCD has funds. Most of those projects are eligible for reimbursement under the Federal Water Resources Act. HCFCD has their budget set up in a way that they don’t accrue debt. Many of the critical components of Project Brays have been implemented. Willow Waterhole was one of the last detention components for Project Brays. It was held off since the benefits are primarily to the tributary to Brays and not the main stem.

  • Point taken on separate funding.

    Interesting (buried in the response) that
    the Board members are the same politicos that RUN THE COUNTY, i.e., good ‘ol corrupt Harris Cty Commissioners Court.

    Willow Waterhole is 43% complete, with no scheduled work listed online.

    We will soon be complete on 3 (of 32!) bridges on Project Brays.

    Even the Eldridge Rd. Basin is only 67% complete, with no new work planned until 4Q 2010(!).

    Crucial channel mods are less than 50% complete cumulative.

    Clearly, this CRITICAL project has slowed and seems likely to slow further. When we get another 2-3″/hr. all day event, the BOARD MEMBERS, i.e., Commissioners Court will not be able to hide behind funding.

    This is stupid public policy that could result in hundreds (or thousands) of flooded homes and lost tax revenue. Gee, not only that, I seem to remember Allison inconvenienced a few people.

  • Where do want to get the money? Brays isn’t the only watershed getting improvements.

    Sims Bayou is moving along also. White Oak Bayou is also nearing completion. Then there is Hunting Bayou. Vogel Creek was completed.

    There are a lot of projects ongoing.

    About the bridges: Not all of the 30+ bridges are being replaced. Many will just receive slight modifications. Only a couple will be completely replaced.

    The commissioners role is primarily of a figurehead or group. They don’t make any decisions for HCFCD. HCFCD will make recommendations for spending of money and the Commissioners will vote. The votes rarely aren’t unanimous leaving HCFCD to run themselves. The commissioners keep their hands off of them.

  • The neighborhood will be able to “use” the vacant land but cannot build permanent structures upon it.

    With the exception of one lot at the far end of N. Macgregor, 9 are connecting so that they will form a large U shaped property. There’s been talk of a shared garden but who knows… The area still looks pretty rough right now, but the damaged sidewalks, where driveways once were, are being repaired and curbs installed.

    There are existing trees and lawns so hopefully it will become, at the very least, another usable green space.

    I suspect that, when the next big flood happens and some of the remaining homes get hit yet again, if another FEMA buyout is offered, we’ll be seeing more open land along N. Macgregor.

    But as it is right now, no patchwork.