This is the fourth quarterly report regarding the Project Braes in my neighborhood near the Texas Medical Center in Houston. The majority of the work is done and orchestrated by the Harris County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Houston Parks Board, a non-profit, is working with them, to create more recreational space in this area. Google Maps now includes the Braes Bayou Greenway Trail. I do not pretend to be an engineer or flood expert. I’m a Realtor who happens to live in the neighborhood, and I thought it would be fun to follow the progress to the finish.
I didn’t expect Hurricane Harvey to visit exactly a month ago, but this expanded portion of the bayou was truly put to the test on the night of August 24, 2017! Saturday through Tuesday, I measured about 34″ in my rain gauge, but most of it came from late Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, almost 24 hours of hard rain is going to tax any community or city anywhere, I believe. I could not get near the bayou; I wish I had a drone to send over there to let me know what it looked like. But all you had to do was look up and down the streets nearest the bayou, to see that it didn’t hold back that much water!! In neighborhoods like Linkwood, just east of Stella Link, most homes flooded for the first time ever, just a devastating blow to this lovely Medical Center neighborhood!
The next segment of the bayou expansion has already begun where this one is leaving off, 2000 feet west of the Buffalo Speedway bridge. This project goes West under Loop 610 to South Rice Avenue in the Meyerland area, a neighborhood that has seen three floods now, in the last four years.
Here are the changes I have observed since my last post made in early summer.
The mysterious building going up between North and South Braeswood near Stadium Drive turns out to be a beautiful new child care facility for Houston Methodist employees. It is conveniently located just across the street where many commuters park to ride the rail the few blocks to the Texas Medical Center.
What happy colors have been chosen for this place created especially with the children in mind!
There is even a retention pond built with flooding in mind, and outside the sturdy fence. This new facility didn’t have any water in the Harvey flood, and the water only came on the property on half the parking area. I was able to visit with Mandy, who is the building supervisor through the construction.
This photo was taken while I stood behind the day care center, outside the fence, looking West toward the Stadium Drive bridge. The first photo above is looking East to the Medical Center. Note the Texas Orthopedic Hospital garage backs up to the bayou.
Every time I have photographed for this project, I have seen wildflowers. This time was no exception.
This area on No. Braeswood near the Main St. bridge, looking toward the Kirby bridge, shows that all the heavy equipment and “mess” that has been here so long, is finally gone. But here is another paved thoroughfare that stops suddenly. These things are so weird, I cannot imagine what is in the future here…maybe by the next post, we will have an idea!
I repeat the fact I am not any type of engineer, but why does the fence stop and start, and the concrete paths not join? Across No. Braeswood is the Brentwood Condominium, which I happen to know flooded on the first floors. Why have a gap in that “seawall”. (That’s what I like to call it, because we need one in more than one place in Houston!)
This is what it looks like from the So. Braeswood side. That is 7575 Kirby Condominium due north. The Brentwood is just next door and is an older condominium. But, why the gap? Is it for large machinery to access the bayou? I guess no one wants the gap to spill more water into their neighborhood!
Besides the junk and silt caught up in the pipes, just look at the condition of these pipes. The Kirby bridge and the Buffalo Speedway bridges are going to be completely re-placed. Traffic will be a challenge, but it will be worth it. It will benefit the runners/bikers/walkers, and also the vehicular traffic above.
I’m sorry to say this is the price a lot of my neighbors had to pay for Harvey! At least half their pile has been picked up. This is the remaining pile! Wonderful, fine-grained oak wood floors, kitchen cabinets, baseboards, drywall, furniture that got soaked, etc. This is one house. I don’t even know how many thousands like this are sitting with their pile, still waiting for the trucks to take it away!!
Just like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, this storm was more harsh north of the bayou than the south. There was more than twice as much water with Harvey, I think, and there has been much work on the infrastructure and more homes built on a pier and beam foundation, but there were homes flooded, and one is too many!
If you are looking for a high and dry home near the Medical Center/NRG area, please give me a call, and I will find the kind of home you want and help you buy it. If you want to sell, flooded or not, I am the one to make that listing marketable, focusing on the right target to buy your place! Call me at 713.530.0150. I am ready to serve your needs!