The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that its Galveston District is closely monitoring both the Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs in the Katy area Houston as part of stage one of an extended watch that calls for an increased surveillance of the flood risk management structures.
Water levels in both reservoirs are rising following this week’s heavy rainfall.
Those levels are expected to continue to rise over the weekend as more water drains into the flood control reservoirs and some road closures are possible.
Col. Christopher W. Sallese, USACE Galveston District commander, said the reservoirs were working as intended.
“The Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs are performing as intended, which is to reduce the flood levels along Buffalo Bayou and protect the Houston Metropolitan area,” Sallese said. “Public safety is our number one priority as we work with our partners –the City of Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County, and the Texas Department of Public Safety – to monitor the dams and reservoirs.”
The Corps remains in contact with the Texas Department of Transportation to provide status updates as the impoundment of rainwater in the Addicks Reservoir could result in flood water overtopping State Highway 6 between Clay Road and Interstate 10, which is located inside of the reservoir.
The USACE Galveston District staff will continue to closely monitor conditions and provide updates as the situation changes.
Constructed in the 1940s, both reservoirs are normally kept dry to preserve their overall capacity to impound storm water and reduce flood levels in Buffalo Bayou.
When a rain event occurs, the gates are closed on the Addicks and Barker dams to reduce flooding below the reservoirs. When the downstream runoff has receded to non-damaging stages, reservoir operations resume, the gates are opened, and water is released.