If you asked me in January 2019 my opinion of Montgomery County, I would have told you it’s a nice place. Still has the country feel, I spend a lot of time in the Woodlands and well Lake Conroe might be the next stop in my journey. Maybe.
I’ve lived in Kingwood for more than half of my life now. I remember life before the City of Houston and before Friendswood abandoned us. And I remember our valiant fight to stave off annexation, which included Carol Garner, wife of Houston Astro player/manager Phil Garner’s standing up and recounting the night her house caught fire and the Kingwood Volunteer fire department that came and saved her family and their memories.
Every time I hear about the kids of Summerwood high school embracing our schoolless Mustangs I get the same tears in my eye and lump in my throat as I do when I think of Carol Garner. I can still see her standing up in the Kingwood High School Auditorium, the same auditorium that is now under assault from the reservoir in Conroe. Dr. Fagen, also valiantly, got up and told of our kids and the impact of sending 79,000 cfs, nearly rivaling Niagra Falls (84K cfs), into their homes and schools in the dark of night. She was met by laughter, boos and scoffing.
Dan Huberty, who stood up for Kingwood last night also gave outstanding remarks that reminded the residents that surround the reservoir, that this body of water was constructed as just that, a reservoir and not a recreational facility. Of course, that too was met with boo’s from the residents that choose to buy land around a reservoir.
And to me the worst was Bob Rehak who mentioned the 13 Kingwood residents that had lost their lives because of this event only to be scoffed at loudly by a ginned crowd of misinformed 60 somethings that quite possibly were sold a bill of goods and though they bought lakefront property rather than what it is, a reservoir.
The understanding of this group was that we were interrupting their Lake life, all the while chastising us for pointing out that they were putting their 35 ft boats over our lives. They were insulted. How dare we point out that maybe their lake is not the only thing shallow in Conroe. And I personally was told I was being uncivil by the guy in the middle after I commented that there was an endless stream of ignorant and ill-informed people coming to the mic. I think he was madder that I had pointed out that the kingwood people, myself included were held until the end and that they were not going in ‘order.’
I was assured by a friend that they had but I was one of the first kingwood people there, arriving @ 4:40 and was among the last to speak. Maybe it was the chaos of collecting these paper submissions forms and the people sorting them into piles in the lobby based on address had something to do with it. I should have taken pictures of that. Of course, setting up an electronic registration would have insured fairness. So either chaos was done to relegate Kingwood to the end of the line or maybe MoCo doesn’t have computers or the internet. Not sure. And maybe someone needs to warn Margaritaville of this.
In the three hours of listening to this nonsense pouring out of these people’s mouths,
- I heard that Kingwood is killing the home values of people living on a reservoir, but no acknowledgment that our flooded homes were in far worse shape. The stigma of the flood will never leave these homes, whereas the lake will go back to the God management company as soon as the Lake Houston Gates are put in.
- I heard that by not wanting water to be redirected into our homes, we were wasting water and not good conservationists
- I heard that Kingwood was killing people’s dreams. In Kingwood, for some, they died, so their dreams also were killed as were those of their families.
- I heard we were disturbing people’s retirement. And I personally pointed out that a retirement facility that had 8 feet of water in its downstairs and had people in wheelchairs in water were having their retirement also disturbed and they were 3 miles from Lake Houston.
- Flooding is all the city of Houston’s fault and it all started in 1996. The red-shirted mob didn’t know they flooded us in Oct of 1994.
- Our homes are all in a flood zone and if we were just smart enough to buy flood insurance. In a former life working for State Farm, a majority of these homes are in Zone X…not a flood zone.
- That Kingwood floods all the time. Look you flooded with the lake lower. See see. Well, thank you, Perry Homes, because we now have a PR issue because of you. Don’t worry you will get as good as you give with that. Its gonna make it much harder to sell those houses in Flooded Woodridge Forest you seem hell-bent on a building. But I let the reservoir rubes know Conroe floods 77345 and Perry Homes floods 77339. Kingwood actually has 2 zipcodes. Now before you, Kings Forest, Kingwood Lakes, and Barrington peep jump me, it seemed to me that these folks needed it kept simple as to not keep conflating facts.
So who is behind this?
I genuinely don’t know the answer to that, but it seems to maybe be an upset person with a lot of real estate. Maybe its Jimmy Buffett, but doubtful. But it may be Margaritaville. But someone is ginning this up. Someone is funding buses and red shirts. Maybe it’s the guy who bought the pole props. I challenge one of your guys with time on your hands to figure out who the George Soros of the Reservoir is.
But what I’m most dismayed with is,. Texas is an awesome place and what makes us awesome is our residents and how we help other Texans. The generosity of Houston is second to none. So to have people be so self-absorbed as to wish or bring harm to another Texan that knowingly can be avoided, as long as they are not inconvenienced to me is really upsetting.
Furthermore, Montgomery County, its elected officials and its residents seem to have a great disdain for Kingwood. They have allowed a rogue builder in the form of Perry Homes to destroy my neighborhood and the homes of my friends and neighbors as they sit in their chairs and turn a blind eye to the numerous violations Perry Homes committed. They have caused my residents to elevate their beds on cinder blocks so incase their homes flood at night they don’t drown in their beds. They send 600,000 gallons of water a minute into Kingwood without warning in the middle of the night so that by 5 in the morning the US coast guard had to rescue people off their roofs and we had boats going through Barrington in a fashion reminiscent of the final scene of Titanic as they were going through the debris looking and calling for survivors. It is abhorrent. And it should never exist in the United States, let alone Texas, let alone Houston
To the people of Barrington, Kingwood Lakes, Kings Forest, Kingwood Greens, Kings Crossing, Fosters Mill Kings Point and Riverchase I suggest you figure out how to get to the next meeting regardless of where it is. You will need to leave Kingwood around 3 pm to get to Conroe. Plan accordingly. You have one last chance to show up and make yourselves be heard. I have a big mouth but not big enough to dull 1,000 people. Take off work. Get baby sitters you have a month’s notice. And this may be the last notice you get before water again pours into your house in the dark of night. Writing a letter is not a substitute for a Sea of white in their home court. Just plan to be there period.
I hope the SJRA does the right thing and preserves life (not a life style) and stands with being overly cautious until the situation is improved. I pray the people that represent our side can endure the pressure. I hope Governor Abbot reminds these folks of their charter. And I hope Dan Patrick will do the right thing and choose life because that what it all comes down to.