Stop STDs and Call Your Elected Officials AKA Put Up or Shut Up

I was talking to one of my friends about all of this. She had been to the meeting and witnessed the shallows. As we were talking, one thing became perfectly clear, that although the folks of Reservoir Conroe have little of the history of this situation, one thing they did got me to thinking about some things and maybe somethings we can do to work together and get better government representation for both communities.  Before I explain I want to dispel again a few of the things Conroe says.

  1. Kingwood always floods and Conroe didn’t cause it. Kingwood has flooded twice and Conroe caused it both times and that is the fact. I think we need a geography lesson. Forest Cove always floods Forest Cove is not Kingwood (orange on the map below). For as long as I’ve been here the West Fork of the San Jac Floods Hamlin Road and  Forest Cove.   I have created a Map in Google Maps that delineates Forest Cove the place that always floods. I added the footprint of the 1994 flood in Purple and now Harvey in Green, Additionally, much of what flooded in 1994 was just woods. But it did come about 1.4 miles inland. Harvey came over 2 miles inland in some places. Here is the map.

Click for a Larger Version  For the Google Earth View

 As for landmarks, the water came up to Toys R Us In Humble in 94. In 2017 it almost came up to 1960. It came into the Randalls on Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway but it was less than knee-high in that parking lot. In 2017 it was 11 feet inside the building.  We have all seen the photos of WhattaBurger underwater and I marked that on the map too so those unfamiliar with the area will understand that building sites 2 miles inland.

For those in Conroe who like to Conflate facts, the Conroe Damn sits right atop the West fork of the San Jac River and exactly where all the water come down from.  The models you quote do not include Kingwood. The 14 ft conflates the East Fork. I assume you guys were professionals that did well for yourself and why you can have a 35ft boat and live on a lake. You guys need the facts and not just read the fake news your HOA (if I actually believe that) is putting out. It mixes facts that are reminiscent of a tossed salad.

Furthermore, Kingwood is not in a flood zone and facts are pesky things so I took the liberty of assembling the 4 panels that comprise Kingwood into one map. The dark gray is water. and White is zone x.  You will see the majority of Kingwood is NOT in a flood Zone but Forest Cove (you know the place that isn’t Kingwood) is.  You can overlay my map above on this one and see that a majority of it is not in a flood zone. So now we have facts.

 So now on to the real purpose of my post. As we were talking, we realized that a lot of the Reservior residents said we should talk to the city of Houston. It shows they don’t understand that the county is the one responsible for drainage, another pesky fact. But it got us to thinking.

I believe we should find a way to work together if this really comes down to it being an actual choice. I feel the Mayor who owns 2/3 of the reservoir is the one to determine what happens here. He is lowering Lake Houston and keeps it low to help us safe, and lowers it a week ahead of any storm more than what he should with it being Houston’s water source.

But here’s the thing. People of Montgomery County, you have terrible elected officials. That is not a political statement. These people turned a blind eye to the numerous laws Perry Homes has broken as they clear cut nearly 400 acres. They sat idly by when 400 people had their homes taken from them not once but twice. They dismissed us from their commission’s court and wouldn’t’ speak to us when we tried to work this all out. And it’s not just us they were not too helpful with the elected people that drove up there to see if they would help us.  They basically are allowing people to live in fear of drowning in their beds. They didn’t enforce their own stormwater laws. For example,  they were supposed to work on 30-acre parcels, yet they stripped the land bare and now have caused 3 floods in 8 months to my neighborhood in Kingwood.

They are adding to the false perceptions that Kingwood always floods. Our flooding didn’t happen until they went bananas. We didn’t flood in Harvey because the natural protections were still in place, the same protections they allowed Perry to destroy.  I did add the Perry Homes floods to my little Flood Map drawing in the Red and the Yellow so you have those too and maybe understand that these are two separate things. They have nothing to do with Conroe other than thank God your Lake was lowered in Imelda or we have had more people be homeless. Montgomery County has let Perry Homes cause $50M (my estimate) of damage to Kingwood. Yet we have no way to stop them.

But here’s the thing no one is holding Montgomery county elected officials responsible. They are allowing all this rogue behavior that both the Residents of the Reservoir and the Residents of Kingwood are having to live with. The only difference is the residents in Kingwood have no control over the folks in Montgomery county and they know it. But the Reservoir Conroe folks do.

So we can keep letting them build with impunity, allowing your officials to side with builders that are campaign doners or we can come up with a way for the Conroe folks to primary these people and get honest hardworking folks in office that are willing to tackle unpopular flood inforcement. That will do what’s best for all Montgomery County as well as Texas. I understand they are a political powerhouse, but surely you can be a political powerhouse and still do what’s right for people.   We all need a better local government to help us not to flood, all of us.

But as the residents of Reservoir in Conroe want to scream at us that we should elect better officials, from where I sit, Dave Martin and Sylvester Turner are doing what we need. They are making dredging a priority. They are installing more gates on Lake Houston to help the flow of water to help both our communities. And yet, the Montgomery County power base is bedding rogue builders like Perry Homes and Maybe Friendswood (I keep getting conflicting reports on Tavola). They are turning a blind eye. They are allowing Perry Homes and LJA Engineering to investigate itself in their stormwater investigations. And we sit in Kingwood drowning in Montgomery county water. Perry homes from the North and Conroe from the south.

I encourage the folks in the red shirts to look into what has been allowed to go on in your county and ask if you’re happy with it. Kingwood is not the enemy but yet someone decided to vilify the victims when maybe holding all elected officials in both counties to higher standards and demanding the people and the dangers of flooding be made a priority over tax dollars and development.  Do you think there is a better way? If so consider running for office and help change the dynamic in Montgomery county so we can all go back to being friends, because we are all Texans after all and were have much larger enemies out there than each other.

 

 

This map adds the Perry Homes Flood Areas, (areas in my opinion) to the map.

 

2 thoughts on “Stop STDs and Call Your Elected Officials AKA Put Up or Shut Up”

  1. Excellent article. We have lived in Kingwood for 44 years and in our current home since 2001. Our home is in the 500-yr flood plain. Harvey was the only time we flooded. Between 2AM and 6 AM, the water rose to flood our 1-story home with 40” of water and our garages up to 5.5’. We had to be rescued by boat with only a very few belongings in a duffle bag. The water that came rushing down our street had such force and current it lifted heavy solid-wood outdoor furniture and slammed it against our iron fence on the other side of our house. It dumped over chests and other furniture inside upon which we had stacked items we hoped to save. No one could say this was the result of rainfall coming from above us. It came with such force and suddenness, it was like a huge bucket of water had been dumped on us. Over the next 6 weeks, seeing our family heirlooms, collectibles, clothing, books, pictures, kitchen appliances, furnishings, cars, etc. piled up in our front yard broken and rotting has left a permanent image in my mind. The Conroe residents talk of their “dreams.” Well, unfortunately because of mismanagement of their reservoir and building, their dream has become my recurring nightmare. We literally watched 48 years of building a home wash and rot away. But, these are just the “things” we lost. Some can be replaced, many cannot. But, what I mourn the most is the lost time…2 years that as retirees we wanted to spend with parents in their 90s (one now deceased) children, grandchildren and friends. Our hard-earned retirement nest was destroyed overnight, not by an act of God or a terrorist, but by poor management decisions of the SJRA. It frightens me to think that those responsible have not accepted responsibility and may even allow this to happen again.

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