NOTE: This is the first in a series examining flooding along the Cypress Creek corridor. Submit reader stories, complaints, flooding photos and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
After numerous floods over the last decade left them with dampened spirits and feeling neglected, a growing group of advocates in the Cypress Creek area is organizing with their sights set on becoming the voice for their community that ultimately brings them relief.
B. Glenn Wilkerson, who serves as the president of the Cypress Creek Cultural District, knows the flooding issue all too well and is helping to lead a Flood Control Task Force to address the issues regarding flood mitigation along the Cypress Creek Watershed.
“Our belief is that community leaders and other major institutions in northwest Houston will be eager to enlist in this effort,” he said.
The move comes following a meeting of key leadership with Deputy Director Matt Zeve of the Harris County Flood Control District at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts recently regarding the Cypress Creek Watershed.
Wilkerson said the meeting was productive and gave them some hope.
“Among the matters discussed were the Baker study from Rice University that identified the Cypress Creek and Greens Bayou watersheds as being the most underserved in the 2018 Harris County bond election, according to Dr. (Philip) Bedient at Rice,” Wilkerson said.
One of the gripes of the group is that they felt the Cypress area was grossly overlooked for mitigation and point to the studies that have made that point including a chart listing how the money was divvied out to the various watershed projects.
The Cypress Creek Cultural District — comprising the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Barbara Bush Branch Library, Cypress Creek Foundation for the Arts, 63-acre Don Collins Park, softball fields, County Courthouse, Cypress Creek Christian Community Center, The Centrum and the Cypress Creek Greenway Hike and Bike Trails — were four-feet underwater during Hurricane Harvey.
At one point, there were 150 nonprofit organizations meeting in the Cypress Creek Christian Community Center, all affected by the flood.
“They’re building it all back, but if it happens again, I feel like that will be the end of the Cultural District,” he said. Many of those have just returned to full operations.
“I think sometimes we’re in denial after everything gets built back that it won’t happen again,” he said, “but I fear it will if we don’t take action now.”
He believes detention ponds are the best hope. In the meantime, there is also hope that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also dredge out the creek.
Developers continue to receive permits from Harris County to build along the creek, raising eyebrows with county leadership that allows it to continue.
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