Brazos River Update

The Brazos River has crested and dropped from flood stage, and river level projections remain below 40’. Now that this most recent threat has subsided, let’s recap the past few weeks:

River’s Edge is estimated to be at risk of flooding when Brazos River elevations reach 50.6’ on the Richmond Gauge.

As rains threatened to send the river to that level, our team of MUD 140 with Costello Engineering, Fort Bend County Drainage District (FBD), Levee Management Services (LMS), LID 7 and US Flood Control, collaborated and executed a multi-phased flood mitigation plan:

At the point of back-flow (DRS Road), we sourced a culvert plug to protect us to an estimated 52.2’. A row of Tiger Dams borrowed from LID 7 and deployed by Fort Bend Drainage District added protection to an estimated 53.7’, and a stacked second row added protection to an estimated 54.2’. Temporary pumps were installed by Global Pumps to handle any water accumulation.

At this point, we are preparing to return borrowed and rented equipment, and we are in the process of procuring our own equipment that we will have at hand for future deployments if necessary.

Extending a big thank you to everyone who helped… from the boots on the ground to the engineers, managers and attorneys who supported the activities. You have our deep respect and appreciation.

– David W Smith, Pres. MUD 140

Photo from left to right:
Lloyd Zeno, LMS; Thomas Perrin, FBD; Mark Guerrero, FBD; Keith Mitchell, LMS; Bradley Rubesh, FBD; DJ Kucera, FBD; Glenn Meyer, FBD; Trent Zwahr, FBD; Ron Dechert, Costello; Barry Waites, FB140. (Not pictured: Steve Korenek, Ronnie Mcwhorter, and Steven Svatek, FBD; David Smith, FB140.)

Update – May 9, 2019

The Brazos River is currently projected to reach 49.9 feet at the Richmond gauge on Sunday evening. The addition of the tubes north of the District should protect to about a gauge height of 52 feet, at least 2 feet higher than the current predictions. The District is currently obtaining a pump to pump water from the south pond (Pond 3) as a precaution against rising water levels in the oxbow.

At this time, it is not anticipated that river water will flood homes, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and evaluate contingency plans. We also want to remind residents that local rainfall can also cause flooding, if it is intense enough, such as the rainfall we saw on Tuesday.

At this time, out of an abundance of caution, you may want to consider moving items in your home to higher ground if possible, especially if you flooded in the past. Again, we do not expect flooding given current predictions; however, we encourage everyone to be proactive.

Flood Mitigation Efforts: Tiger Dams

Update: At the request and direction of the property owners, citing insurance and other issues, the District will not be using volunteers for its ongoing flood mitigation efforts or deployment of Tiger tubes. However, we very much appreciate the community’s willingness and eagerness to help!

On Sunday, May 5 the Board held an emergency meeting to discuss flood mitigation efforts in the face of rising waters on the Brazos River. The Board approved moving forward with the acquisition and deployment of Tiger dams and other equipment along an alignment running from the northern boundary of the District to the existing “Rio Vista Berm” (roughly the same alignment as the “DRS Berm” discussed at District meetings) and to scale the response in accordance with river projections. We are currently undertaking efforts to deploy a section of Tiger dams being lent by FB LID 7 on the lowest elevation of the proposed berm alignment, plug the outfall at DRS Road, and are exploring the use of sandbags along a portion of the southern boundary of the District.

As of this update, the Brazos River is projected to crest at 46.1 ft. on Friday morning, May 10. The District currently estimates its risk of flooding to begin at approximately 50.5 ft. Hopefully, this remains an exercise and the river stays within its banks.