Recover Lake Houston

#Plea2SeeLakeHouston Wrap Up

The Plea 2 See Campaign launched March 6th and since then a lot has happened in response. The Lake Houston community gathered and in an all out effort sent over 1,000 emails from over 800 email addresses in the area. Within a week, we had a response from Land Commissioner George P. Bush,a visit from Governor Greg Abbott to the Lake Houston area to observe the situation in the San Jacinto River, and opened communications with Lt Gov. Dan Patrick’s office for his visit. The rate at which emails were sent was terrific and feedback was flowing in both encouraging and constructive. As we move forward with the Recover Lake Houston initiative, we hope to see the State’s actions on flood mitigation take shape and continue our communication with elected officials as a community to ensure the prevention of future flooding in Lake Houston. The Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce encourages the community to thank our elected officials for their service to our community.

Governor Greg Abbott
On Thursday, March 8, Governor Abbott took an aerial tour of theSan Jacinto River and Lake Houston and met with community leaders at Kingwood Community Center. There he announced several flood mitigation measures for immediate relief including:
  • Using the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) has authorized $3 million to jumpstart the engineering and permitting process to determine where dredging should on the San Jacinto River.
  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, TDEM has authorized $2 million for a regional study focused on the San Jacinto River watershed to prevent future flooding.
  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, FEMA has approved over 900 voluntary buyouts in Harris County.
  • Instructing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate and take action against sand mining operations violating regulations.
  • Directing the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) to immediately identify what can be done to prevent flood events along the West Fork of the river.
  • Directing the SJRA to implement immediate and long-term solutions to protect lives and property of Texans living in the watershed.
  • Directing the SJRA to identify funding to implement a long-term plan that better protects areas downstream of Lake Conroe.
It was the first time the Governor addressed flood mitigation specific to the Lake Houston area and the call for action gives the Recover Lake Houston initiative optimism going forward to establishing more concrete flood mitigation action such as lowering Lake Conroe from the original Plea For 3 campaign and addition of Tainter gates to the Lake Houston Dam.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick will be scheduling a tour of the Lake Houston Area in the next few weeks. His office is currently coordinating with the Chamber on possible dates for his visit. Thanks to all Plea 2 See participants for their hard work and persistence on having our elected officials witness our immediate issues first hand.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush

Commissioner George P. Bush visited the Lake Houston community Thursday, March 22. He toured the San Jacinto River via boat with community leaders. His visit is in response to the many tweets and emails received by his office pleading for a visit to the area and tour the damage left by Hurricane Harvey. More information about his visit will be announced soon.

Plea for 3 Wrap Up
THANK YOU. Thank ALL of you for your fervent support of the Plea For Three campaign. We have made great progress because of our community’s resilience and passion.

We have wrapped up our Plea For Three Campaign and are hard at work on our next big step towards recovery. Below is a recap on the campaign and a look at what’s ahead.

OUR WORK IS NOT DONE! Even though the Plea For Three campaign resulted in meaningful progress for the Lake Houston area, the work ahead of us has only just begun. The feedback, ideas and support we’ve received from our area residents, businesses and elected officials has been amazing. Please stay engaged and stay tuned as much hard work still lies ahead for the Lake Houston Area.

On February 26, 2018, Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, State Representative Dan Huberty, and State Senator Brandon Creighton met with City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to follow up on previous discussions regarding the immediate needs of the Lake Houston Area. These discussions happened to coincide with the rain that occurred over this past weekend which further highlighted the urgency of needed  remediation. To read more about this, click here.

REMEDIATION Update

Our Remediation Plea: Full funding for dredging the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston and stricter regulation enforcement of legal and illegal sand mining operations along the river.

Remediation Update: Governor Abbott has indicated Lake Houston will be included in flood mitigation plans with funding from the federal government. We are currently working on our specific asks and to which entities we should make our appeal.

Remediation Efforts:

  • Council Member Martin’s Office has been instrumental in mobilizing Harris County Flood Control District to address sand clogged waterways, bayous, and ditches internally contained in Kingwood. As a result HCFCD announced their plan of action on January 31.
  • Council Member Martin has requested the use of current City contracts to conduct studies of certain portions of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston to compare water levels and capacity of the river/lake to a previous study performed in 2011. To get these studies done, the City of Houston is working to secure funding to complete these studies in the very short term.
  • Harris County, Montgomery County and the San Jacinto River Authority are working together to submit a grant application to the Texas Water Development Board to study flood control in the entire San Jacinto Watershed.

Sand Mining Regulation:

  • Huberty’s office, The Chamber and The Lake Houston EDP met with Bayou Land Conservancy to begin collaborating on legislation regarding sand mining operations.
  • Huberty’s office confirmed with TCEQ that aerial surveillance of sand mining operations on the San Jacinto River was performed in October and citations and fines were given. TCEQ will be performing aerial surveillance again this Spring with likely ongoing monitoring to be established going forward.
REDUCTION Update

Our Reduction Plea: A temporary Reduction of the pooling level of Lake Conroe from 201 feet above sea level to 198 feet above sea level.

Reduction Update:

  • City Councilmember Dave Martin recently met with the Governor’s office regarding lowering the level of Lake Conroe.
  • Long Term Recovery Task Force had meetings to discuss the specifics of temporarily lowering the lake and other flood mitigation possibilities with Jace Houston of the SJRA and with Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal. The Chamber and Lake Houston EDP has had many conversations with the Lake Conroe Association, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce and The Conroe Chamber of Commerce since December discussing our plea for lowering Lake Conroe. The purpose was to educate the entities on exactly what the need is and finding opportunities to partner for a regional approach to flood mitigation in the San Jacinto watershed
  • The Lake Conroe Association recently launched a letter writing campaign to counter the “permanent” reduction of Lake Conroe. We are currently working to educate Lake Conroe area residents that our lake reduction request is not a permanent request or viable solution. It is solely to assist in the mitigation of immediate future rain events given the level of sand, sediment and debris that have now created completely new blockages that did not exist pre-Harvey.
REPRESENTATION Update

Our Representation Plea: on the San Jacinto River Authority Board – three governor appointed interim board members representing downstream communities to serve until legislation is passed to address the issue.

Representation Update:  On February 5, Governor Abbott  appointed Mark Micheletti and Kaaren Cambio, both Kingwood residents, to the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors.

ONGOING RECOVERY/REMEDIATION WORK AND NEWS
  • On February 6 Governor Abbott tweeted that more will be announced soon regarding help with remediation for the Lake Houston Area.
  • On February 9 the federal government passed a bill including $90 billion in federal relief funding
  • On February 13 Governor Abbott announced allocation of funding from FEMA will provide an estimated $1 billion for hazard and flood mitigation projects designed to help Texas rebuild and reduce the risk of future damage from flooding and Hurricanes.
  • Huberty’s office is working on San Jacinto River Authority legislation regarding governance policies and emergency action plans.
  • Huberty’s office is working to create legislation to establish a water authority which would have overarching regional authority over the entire San Jacinto watershed.
  • City Council Member Dave Martin discussed with the Governor’s office the addition of an emergency storm water storage basin off lake Houston and other flood control measures.
  • Harris County Engineer just completed a study on Lake Houston water surface reduction alternative that he provided to the City of Houston. The study reviewed the possibility of additional gates.
LOOKING AHEAD: What are we doing now?

The Long Term Recovery Task Force is preparing and coordinating our next “PLEA” to the help remediate our area and prevent future flooding. WE ARE WORKING HARD to determine specific asks and to which agency/organization to make these asks.

We feel the Plea For Three campaign has accomplished several goals towards its intended purpose of enacting initial, immediate action. Certain unanswered requests of the Plea For Three, will now be evaluated for inclusion in a more comprehensive plan.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

The Long Term Recovery Task Force is preparing and coordinating our next “PLEA” to the help remediate our area and prevent future flooding. WE ARE WORKING HARD to determine specific asks and to which agency/organization to make these asks.

We feel the Plea For Three campaign has accomplished several goals towards its intended purpose of enacting initial, immediate action. Certain unanswered requests of the Plea For Three, will now be evaluated for inclusion in a more comprehensive plan.

Information current as of February 26, 2018.

News Updates

April 17, 2018: Gov. Abbott: Dredging of the San Jacinto could begin next month – Houston Chronicle 

April 5, 2018: Letter of support from Congressman Ted Poe to William Long, Administrator of FEMA

April 4, 2018: Lt.Gov Patrick’s Lake Houston visit wraps-up Plea to See campaign – Houston Chronicle

April 3, 2018: SJRA takes on regional flood management, hires director at $180k a year – Houston Chronicle

March 29, 2018: Neighborhoods near Humble, Liberty could see homes flood again – Houston Chronicle 

March 29, 2018: Homeowners nervous about flooding as San Jacinto River creeps higher – KTRK-TV

March 29. 2018: Flood Warning: Homes at risk as San Jacinto River rises out of its banks – KHOU

March 27, 2018:  Temporary Reduction of Lake Houston – Councilman Dave Martin Press Release 

March 22, 2018: George P Bush becomes second elected official to visit Lake Houston – Houston Chronicle 

March 15, 2018:  New Flood Prevention Efforts in Kingwood, TX – Governor Abbott Press Release 

March 14, 2018: Abbott to discuss Harvey Recovery at Kingwood Community Meeting – Houston Chronicle 

March 7, 2018: Campaign invites officials to see  Lake Houston’s continued post-Harvey needs – Houston Chronicle

March 7, 2018: Dredging San Jacinto for flood protection a “priority” – Houston Chronicle

March 2, 2018: Dave Martin Schedules Kingwood/Lake Houston Area Town Hall Meeting – Press Release

February 26, 2018:  Significant Progress Made in Response to Immediate Needs of the Lake Houston Area – Dave Martin Press Release

February 5, 2018Lake Houston Residents Appointed to SJRA Board of Directors – Houston Chronicle

February 5, 2018: Governor Abbot Appoints Three to the San Jacinto River Authority Board of Directors – Governor Abbott Press Release

January 9, 2018: Preparing Lake Houston area for the next Harvey – Community Impact

December 19, 2017: Q&A: SJRA General Manager Jace Houston talks Harvey – Community Impact

December 18, 2017: Natural Resource Chair Lyle Larson Letter to Jace Houston

December 18, 2017: Natural Resource Chair Lyle Larson Letter to Gov. Greg Abbott

December 15, 2017: Dave Martin Encourages Lake Houston Area Residents to Participate in the Recover Lake Houston Plea For Three – Press Release 

December 14, 2017: City of Humble passes resolution to support Plea For 3 Lake Houston

December 9, 2017: Lake Houston recovery campaign relies on community involvement – Houston Chronicle 

?

FOLLOW US

Spread the campaign on social media using #Plea2SeeLakeHouston and #RecoverLakeHouston

Join our Facebook Group: Recover Lake Houston.

Follow us on Twitter: @RecoverLakeHou

?

SIGN UP

SIGN UP to get updates on the “Recover Lake Houston” movement (your email will not be shared or used for purposes other than Recover Lake Houston updates)

Subscribe to the Recover Lake Houston Newsletter

Fill out the contact form, select the Recover Lake Houston Updates group, and submit.