"Here we go again."
Every time it starts to rain we worry. The frequency and severity of our flooding events have noticeably increased in recent years, due to the sheer amount of new development all over the Greater Houston area. It's a regional problem requiring a regional solution. In Bellaire we've made significant strides in our own infrastructure improvements, but during major events our local drainage system is of little use without adequate downstream capacity to receive our storm water.
Bellaire is proactively doing something about it. Our plans are two-fold:
- Locally, we recently awarded the contract for the final phase of the 2005 Rebuild Bellaire program, in which we've systematically invested more than $40 million in our streets and drainage infrastructure over the past decade. Now that those bond funds are exhausted, we're preparing the next round for voter approval this fall, to continue making improvements throughout the City.
- Regionally, we're working with the Harris County Flood Control District and other agencies to improve storm water capacity downstream of us and throughout the area. In fact, we're taking the lead on some innovative engineering work in helping develop solutions. We're also collaborating with our neighbors in hard-hit Meyerland to explore mutually beneficial improvements.
Drainage is a top priority and these recent flooding events only highlight the urgency. We will continue working, both locally and regionally, to minimize the impact of future storms.