District Update – August 27, 2017 at 7:25pm

As you are aware large amounts of rain have fallen within the Commonwealth subdivision over the past 24 hours.  The levee district drainage system remains in gravity flow discharge from Alcorn Lake, meaning the pumps have not yet had to operate.  All of the pumps, equipment, and staff are in place and ready to operate as intended as the Brazos river rises.  The lakes and detention ponds within the District have adequate storage capacity at this time for the predicted rainfall, and the levee height and pumps should be adequate to handle not only the anticipated rainfall within the District, but also the anticipated rise in the Brazos river.  We will notify everyone of any change in circumstances but we should be in good shape to weather this storm.

The National Weather Service West Gulf River Forecast Center has issued a forecasted Brazos River crest elevation at the Richmond gage of 59′ (ft) to occur on Tuesday August 29th around 7pm.  That would mean a record flood for the Brazos River in Fort Bend County.  The First Colony LID#2 levee, which serves the Commonwealth neighborhood, has sufficient freeboard at that forecasted elevation.  Staff will be monitoring the levee and conditions 24 hours a day.  Please remember that these precautionary measures are not a sign of trouble and is a part of our flood response plan as outlined in the District’s Emergency Action Plan.

There will be areas in the county outside of levee protection that will be flooded.

NWS forecasts in the past have proven to be accurate although there can always be some margin for error.  Stay to tuned to the City of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County official information for any updates or specific action you should take.  Only City and County officials are authorized to order evacuations should they be needed.   At this point residents are encouraged to monitor the Fort Bend County OEM website http://fbcoem.org/ and City of Sugar Land OEM website http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/

If you have any special needs that you feel need to addressed please contact the City of Sugar Land.

Harvey Update – Saturday 11 AM

Over the past 24 hours we have seen Harvey be downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 Hurricane as is it continues to slowly (6 MPH) move in a north northwesterly direction. There has been really no changes to the track with the forecasts still showing Harvey will remain overhead at least through Thursday. Harvey could remain a Hurricane until Sunday and then become a Tropical Storm through Wednesday.

Over the past 24 hours, the District has received between 7 to 9 inches of rain. This has created a rise in the District’s lake system and is currently draining out through the District’s gravity outfall at Alcorn Lake. Based on the forecasts, the District could still see severe rainfall, between 15 to 20 inches over the 3 to 5 days.

Due to the amount of rain that has been predicted, the National Weather Service has issued a flood forecast for the Brazos River in Richmond. As of 9:44 AM, the forecast showed the Brazos River hitting a Gage Elevation of 55.0’ on Monday Evening or into Tuesday Morning. For reference, this is about 6 inches higher than the May 2016 Record Flood.

With this forecast, the District could see similar water levels along the levee that we experienced during last year’s record flood. Based on our inspections this morning and our on-going maintenance activities, the levee system is in good shape and we will have several feet of freeboard at this forecasted elevation. As the water rises, the District will continue to perform periodic inspections several times each day over the next week or longer if needed. Assuming the river rises as anticipated, the water surface elevations in the lakes will increase as we experience additional rain over the next week. Please note that the District’s lake system and pump station were designed based on the conditions of having an internal rain event when Brazos River is up. This is referred to as a coincidentally storm event. The District will be monitoring the situation and could transition its efforts to a 24/7 operation later today as a precautionary measure in the event we get more rain while the Brazos River rises. Please remember that this a precautionary measure and are not a sign of trouble. These measures are part of our flood response plan as outlined in the District’s Emergency Action Plan.

Please continue to visit the District’s website for more information.