KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 12, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Hurricane season is here and while Katy dodged Cristobal this weekend experts predict that this will be a very active season. Three years ago, Katy experienced its worst flooding during Hurricane Harvey. Some families and businesses have only recently recovered from that disaster. How prepared is Katy take a hit from a major storm this year?
Submitted to Katy Magazine during Hurricane Harvey.
Local Authorities Prepare Katy for Future Flooding
Many local authorities and local groups have worked hard to better prepare Katy for future flooding events.
“The Upper Buffalo Bayou watershed, which starts in Brookshire and ends at the gate of Barker Reservoir at Hwy 6, has seen a lot of work by several entities since Harvey,” says Wendy Duncan Co-founder of Barker Flood Prevention.
“Willow Fork Drainage District, Fort Bend County Drainage District, Brookshire Katy Drainage District and the City of Katy have all been actively working on projects to address flood management with restoration and channel improvement projects,” says Duncan.
Fort Bend County has installed five new rain gauges that will provide real-time data to authorities and residents about rising water in the area.
"[The gauges] will help us for future preparedness for any type of flooding," Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales said at the Fort Bend County Drainage District
meeting. "It is something the drainage district is moving forward and trying to make sure that we keep everyone as safe as possible with the actual data that we can collect sooner rather than later."
Pop-up showers can flood parts of the community in a short period of time. The new gauges will be helpful to monitor water that collects from these heavy isolated showers.
They were active the end of last month just in time for this year's hurricane season. This now brings the total monitored gauges in Fort Bend County to 10, and all monitor flooding paths that can potentially flow into Harris County.
Get Involved and Join the Planning
The Texas Water Development Board is also looking for residents to participate in planning groups that will help develop Texas's first statewide regional flooding plan. There will be 15 groups created across the state. Nominations are due by July 2. For more information, visit their website.
“Despite all this work, the main message that needs to be repeated is buy flood insurance,” encourages Duncan. “We live on a coastal plain prone to intense rains in flat conditions which sets the stage for flash flooding. Most of the homes in this watershed are outside the 100-year flood plain with yearly flood insurance rates of approximately $500.”
Sign Up For Alerts from the City of Katy
The City of Katy offers emergency preparedness information on their website. Residents can also signup for alerts that would keep them informed during a storm or any flooding event.
Learn more here about the predictions for this hurricane season and how you can best prepare.