The following is an update from Katy area Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department & EMS regarding projected flooding due to the Barker Reservoir and Addicks Reservoir being released:
Harris County ESD 48 Fire & EMS conducted almost 150 calls in the last 24 hours and approximately 336 calls since the beginning of the Hurricane Harvey event on Friday night, August 25th. Fortunately, a large number of people listened to our warning and chose to voluntarily evacuate many of the low-lying areas that border George Bush Park which many don’t realize is also the Barker Reservoir. Many residents were able to evacuate on their own which made our efforts much easier. For those that could not get out and needed help, our crews along National Gaurd with high water vehicles and hundreds of civilian volunteers with boats helped us to rescue over 1,000 people (including 3 women in labor), countless household pets, 13 cows and 7 donkeys.
While current forecasts still project the Katy area receiving addition rain over the next 24-48 hours we do not expect to see any more significant flooding than we have seen over the last three days. We just received an updated map and projection from the Army Corp of Engineers that you can see below. Although this map depicts water levels of 104 feet, the Army Corp does not anticipate water levels getting anywhere near this level.
Here is what we know:
- Barker Reservoir’s current level as of 8:00 pm is 101.4 feet (up from 101.3 at 12:00 pm)
- Barker Reservoir is expected to peak sometime Wednesday, August 30th at 101.7 feet (down from 104.4 projected on Tuesday)
- Additional rain over the next two days should not be sufficient to cause any significant change in the reservoir levels but may take many days before flooded homes see water recede.
This means that homes that do not have water in them currently and have more than a foot of elevation over the current water levels are unlikely to be affected by the projected peak water level. The map below is the most recent we have received and depicts the maximum effect on our area if the reservoir was to hit its max level of 104 feet of elevation (which they no longer predict will happen).
(If you are curious about your house’s elevation a Nextdoor user [Zerika S.] suggested this website may give you an idea of your elevation, however, we have not verified its accuracy so don’t rely on the results. https://www.distancesto.com/elevation.php )
Frequently Asked Questions:
- If they release water from the reservoir will it flood my house in Katy?
NO. Water released flows away from Katy towards Houston and lowers the water level in our area (see graphic below).
- A friend told me that the reservoir would reach 108 feet, is that true?
NO, for two reasons. First, the current projection is for Barker to crest around 101.7 feet which is approximately 6 inches higher than its current level. Secondly, the Barker spillway begins releasing water at 104 feet so it is physically impossible for it to achieve 108 feets as additional water will simply spill out of the emergency spillway.
- Someone came by and said that the dam was about to break and everyone in Katy would flood, is that true?
NO for two reasons. First, the Army Corp of Engineers has been monitoring the dam 24/7 throughout this event and has found it to be structurally sound. Second, if the dam were to be compromised the water would flow downhill towards Houston which would swiftly lower the water level on the Katy side.
- My home is currently flooded, how long will it be before the water will go down?
Currently projections are for the water to rise through mid-Wednesday (8/30/17) and then slowly recede over time. Current projections have some houses with water in them for an extended period of time (1 week plus).
Please help us share this information with your friends and neighbors. Stay tuned here and to trusted news sources and do not listen to social media “facts” or anyone who claims to have “special” information. We will keep this site up to date with the most accurate information as we receive it. We are in direct contact with Harris County Flood Control and the Army Corp of Engineers.
There are 62 total shelters across Harris County with an estimated total of 12,700 individuals using these facilities. A list of currently open shelter facilities can be found at www.readyharris.org.
We are no longer asking for boats and high water vehicles. We are encouraging people with boats/vehicles who still want to help to assist their neighbors if they can do so safely.
We are almost through what will surely be a historic weather event for both our city and the nation. We have been truly amazed at the outpouring of love and assistance from our community from food and goodies for our tired crews to people showing with boats, rafts, trucks, and jeeps to take care of people in need. We are so proud to serve such an amazing community. Thank you!